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Qatari trace in election campaign of Kyrgyzstan

The Social Democrats at the party congress on June 17 must finally decide on their presidential candidate.

Earlier, the SDPK Political Council decided in favor of the Prime Minister Sooronbay Jeenbekov.

Officially, Farid Niyazov, the Adviser to the head of state on a voluntary basis, will officially head the pre-election campaign of the Prime Minister.

Sooronbay Jeenbekov is supported by another influential politician from the closest circle of Almazbek Atambayev, Ikramzhan Ilmiyanov.

But not all members of the ruling party approve the decision of the Political Council. Ordinary Social Democrats intend to raise the issue of nominating an alternative candidate at the congress. The Speaker of the Parliament Chynybai Tursunbekov could be the real rival to the Prime Minister.

If the Social Democrats do not reach a consensus before the congress, then the ruling party will nominate two candidates — the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Parliament.

The pre-election campaign will start on June 15, after the Parliament approves the new date for the election — October 15. After that, the official nomination of candidates for the presidency will begin.

The party Akshumkar will hold a congress on June 19, a candidate from which will be ex-prime minister of Kyrgyzstan Temir Sariev. There are no disputes over the presidential candidate.

Doha is far away, Doha is nearby

The conflict between the countries of the Persian Gulf may also affect the election campaign in Kyrgyzstan. Rather, the reputation of the candidate from the party of power Sooronbay Jeenbekov. It is his brother Zhusupbek Sharipov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia, who is one of the initiators of strengthening ties between Kyrgyzstan and Qatar.

The leading countries of the region- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen and Libya — broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar last week.

Qatar's neighbors accused the official Doha of financing the terrorist organizations Al-Qaeda and ISIL.

Over the past four years, Bishkek has established close cooperation with Qatar. The President, the Prime Minister paid visits to Doha. The Embassy of Kyrgyzstan was opened in Doha and Qatar's one — in Bishkek.

Communication with one of the richest countries of the Persian Gulf has not yet brought economic dividends to Kyrgyzstan. Qatari sheikhs are ready to invest only in the construction of mosques.

Strengthening of Kyrgyz-Qatar relations caused a cautious reaction of our strategic partners in the CIS. Contacts of some Kyrgyz politicians with the Arab organization «Society for Social Reforms», which is recognized terrorist in Russia and other CIS countries, do not add enthusiasm to neighbors in EEU.

Religious factor in Kyrgyz politics

According to the Constitution, Kyrgyzstan is a secular state. But de facto, religion has firmly entered our life. In some regions, many organizations do not work after the Friday prayer. And the number of students entering the Muslim universities in Jordan, Saudi Arabia is not less than in secular higher education institutions abroad.

Many local imams are not inferior to leading politicians in popularity, and their influence on the mindset of citizens is sometimes not comparable with the deputy, party, administrative influence.

Whom the voters are willing to listen to: party agitators or clergymen? The answer is clearly not in favor of party figures.

The lack of a national idea, a clear plan for the development of the country, the weakness of the state administration and more than 1.5 million citizens living below the poverty line, stimulate the emergence of unconventional movements in Islam and Christianity, various religious sects.

Is SDPK guarantor of stability?

Leaving on December 1 the post of President Almazbek Atambayev wants to leave the administration of the country to his party. But, as practice shows, the Social Democrats were spoiled by the election process. The party has long ago divided into several camps. SDPK today demonstrates the lack of cohesion both at the lower levels and at the top.

But the leadership of the party continues to assure voters that it is pursuing a single course, and peace and friendship reign in its ranks.

The conflict over the nomination of a single candidate also arose because there is no clear leader in the ranks of the Social Democrats (Almazbek Atambayev himself, having taken the post of president and respecting the law, formally resigned as SDPK leader).

Perhaps, that is why the ruling party sometimes allows dangerous swings in both domestic and foreign policy. And sober heads in SDPK understand that the connection of one of the candidates with the Arab sheikhs can complicate Kyrgyzstan's relations with long-standing and reliable friends in the CIS.