Opinions / Kyrgyzstan

Op-Ed: Amongst 6 million Kyrgyz, there was no one more useful than Farid Niyazov?

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5-02-2018, 14:56
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If Niyazov stays in his current post, this can damage the interethnic accord, both in Kyrgyzstan and in the region. After all, it is Niyazov who proposed the virulent ideas of the “attack” on the neighbors, which was voiced in the last months of presidency of “not quite adequate” Almazbek Atambayev. The new president had to apologize for Atambayev, while Niyazov continues to walk with his head up high.

Op-Ed: Amongst 6 million Kyrgyz, there was no one more useful than Farid Niyazov?

 

One of the most important political posts in Kyrgyzstan has recently been taken by Farid Niyazov -- the man who hates Kyrgyz people. Despite his reputation of being a hater, he is now the new head of the Office of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Quite a persona for the post, who has been known to the public for almost 25 years, but not from the good side.
The former Komsomol leader, Niyazov, caught the eye of the first president of Kyrgyzstan in the early 1990s. Then Niyazov was an ordinary journalist, but President Askar Akayev, appointed him as the head of one of the managing departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. This was the beginning of Niyazov’s career, who after some time had assumed the post of assistant to First Deputy Prime Minister Almambet Matubrayimov, and then was appointed to the posts of the head of the presidential press service and the head of the staff of the Assembly of People's Representatives of the Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyz Parliament).

At some point, Niyazov had a period that was “de jure” referred to as a commercial activity, but “de facto”, he was organizing criminal schemes, thanks to which his patrons -- high-officials, managed to withdraw funds from the state budget without any hurdles.

Niyazov’s second round in the presidential palace was not so much due to his professional skills (he headed the information and coordination center of the Interim Government and personally oversaw the information policy of Roza Otumbayeva and then Almazbek Atambayev) but thanks to his relatives in the highest echelons of power.

No matter how hard Niyazov tried to hide his background, the popular rumor has it that the fifth check box in his passport -- the nationality box -- of the whole Niyazov family has been altered -- with assistance from Almazbek Atambayev himself, apparently at the personal request of his wife Raisa, a tatar by nationality.

The fathers of Raisa Atambayeva and Farid Niyazov are cousins. The youngest - Abilesim (Farid’s father) in his youth was moved to Bishkek during his service years in the USSR and settled down in the Kyrgyz capital.

Perhaps, that is the reason why in the biography of Niyazov, although it is stated that he is “Kyrgyz”, there are dashes in the boxes for birthplace and for his parents). It only says -- "Kyrgyzstan".

Furthermore, to save his wife’s relative from the fifth line, Atambayev once proposed to get rid of the check box for good in Kyrgyz passports. Atambayev was ready to degrade the population of Kyrgyzstan under Niyazov’s influence. During this presidential campaign, Atambayev started agitating against the nationality box in the passport, especially for the ethnic Kyrgyz. He called on to forget what "Kyrgyz" meant and to become just a "Kyrgyzstani". He proposed, in fact, to cross out the centuries-old history of our nation.

When the country's patriotic intelligentsia showed disagreement, Niyazov organized a “terror attack” against the Kyrgyz-language media, which printed articles supporting the preservation of national values.

Atambayev’s adviser, who doesn’t speak Kyrgyz himself, called the Kyrgyz-language newspapers “cheap leaflets”, and the Kyrgyz-language journalists “gossipmongers and non-professionals.” At that moment, Niyazov probably remembered his previous job as a reporter, he did write news reports to “Kommersant”, Russian-based paper, during the presidency of Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

In general, according to Niyazov, everything that is published in Kyrgyzstan in the Kyrgyz language is “not worth of attention”. But the Russian-language media, according to him, is an ideal model for imitation.

Nonetheless, Niyazov did find his ways to control the Russian-speaking crowds as well. For example, when the newspaper De Facto was too “keen on investigating the activities of high-ranking corrupt officials in the country, by his definition, he extorted the news agency from Zhanar Akayev. His method of taking over a business resembled the times of the criminal 90s, when Niyazov served, in fact, as a personal racketeer in the Akayev’s regime.

Currently, Niyazov personally controls the activities and the content of De Facto, editing almost every comma in the newspaper. He determines who would be published in the newspaper, who to criticize, and who to defend. Journalists say that the direction of the newspaper has changed by 180 degrees, and now it protects corrupt officials who were previously denounced, while the opposition movements, on the contrary, are implicit in moot and controversy.

By the way, it was Niyazov who was spread the gossip during the election campaign about candidate Omurbek Babanov -- that he was allegedly a “not full-blooded Kyrgyz”.

Another interesting fact: according to official data specified in the tax returns, Niyazov earns a little more than a million soms (national currency) a year. His wife earns about the same. They own an old Audi-80 and a tractor LTZ-60A made in 2007, a 45.2-square-meter apartment and a 108- square-meter house, as well as five agricultural land shares with a total area of about 40 hectares. In general, a pretty poor official who after 25 years of service among the top officials of the state did not even earn enough for an off-road vehicle.

There is only one but. According to the same tax returns, neither him nor his wife spend a single som from their hard-earned money.

The question is, what are they eating? Because they’re well off.

Let’s do the math.

Personally, Niyazov has a couple dozens of very good suits of fashionable European brands. Each of them costs from 5,000 to 10,000 euros. He also has shirts (also not of Kyrgyz tailoring) - the price of each varies from 100 euros; ties (well, a presidential adviser must wear ties every day) - the prices start from 200 euros.

You do the math now, and try and estimate how much mister “modest Niyazov” spends only on his wardrobe -- a man who saves every penny.

So where does he get the funding from? It's simple. He gets it from the same source as where the wealth of his relatives comes from, Niyazov, as an adviser to Atambayev, has long been known in the country not only as a confidant of the president, but also as a business negotiator. Often, it was through him that Raisa Atambayeva was receiving the “gratitude from citizens” for the patronage of doing business. He also organized all her business meetings in Tatarstan, where a part of the "grateful" funds was transferred.

Though, Niyazov worked with Atambayev back in the 90’s. While sitting in the Office of the President, Niyazov helped the Atambayev family get a budget loan of 50 million US dollars. Atambayev then bought six large factories, sold their equipment to China and Turkey, and laid off tens of thousands of engineers and workers.

Naturally, after coming to power, newly-elected President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, who wants to hold various reforms in the country and propel it to the number of stably developing countries, is making attempts to conduct a “personnel cleaning”, he also wants to get rid of Atambayev's buffoon Niyazov, whom the people nicknamed the “swindler”.

However, Atambayev personally pushed through the ruling party Niyazov’s candidacy to the post of the head of the new president’s Office, combining it with the chair of the “presidential adviser.”

It seems that the ruling party, the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, has no worthier candidates to advise the president on how to run the country. Or among the 6 million Kyrgyz people, there was not another person more useful to the authorities than Farid Niyazov with the reputation of a jumped-up office boy, a promise breaker, populist, provocateur, a killer of freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan and an incendiary of interethnic discord at the state level?

If Niyazov stays in his current post, this can damage the interethnic accord, both in Kyrgyzstan and in the region. After all, it is Niyazov who proposed the virulent ideas of the “attack” on the neighbors, which was voiced in the last months of presidency of “not quite adequate” Almazbek Atambayev. The new president had to apologize for Atambayev, while Niyazov continues to walk with his head up high.

*This article has been translated by Central Asia Daily staff and doesn't express the opinion of the agency.

SOURCE: http://kginfo.ru/c%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%B8-6-%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2-%D0%BA%D1%8B%D1%80%D0%B3%D1%8B%D0%B7%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%86%D0%B5%D0%B2-%D0%BD%D0%B5-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%88%D0%B5/

 

 

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