|09BISHKEK494||2009-05-22 03:20:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Bishkek|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000494
1. (C) Summary: Former Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Elmira
Ibraimova, who had earlier harbored Presidential ambitions
(Ref B), told the Embassy that she was now looking to leave
Kyrgyzstan for a period, possibly to work for an
international organization. She said that opposition
candidates Almaz Atambayev and Temir Sariyev were in the race
in order to "legitimize" President Bakiyev's victory in the
July 23 Presidential election, and she claimed both were in
negotiations with the Kyrgyz White House to cut deals for
themselves. Ibraimova believed that Bakiyev and his circle
were vulnerable in the long-run due to divisions within the
First Family itself and because of their excessive greed.
Kicked out of Ak Jol
2. (C) Despite her meetings with opposition figures and her
own ambitions to challenge President Bakiyev (see Refs B-E),
Elmira Ibraimova had formally remained the deputy chair of
Bakiyev's Ak Jol Party. In late April, Ibraimova publicly
appealed to Ak Jol members to "consider the situation in the
country" before deciding whom to nominate for President. Not
surprisingly, the Ak Jol Party Political Council quickly
kicked her out of the Party. Ibraimova told the Embassy that
President Bakiyev's Chief of Staff, Daniyar Usenov,
orchestrated the entire dismissal, but claimed that some Ak
Jol members had been supportive of her. (Note: On May 1,
the Ak Jol Party nominated Bakiyev to stand for re-election.
Critical of Opposition
3. (C) Ibraimova said that money determined the selection of
former Prime Minister Almaz Atambayev as the "unified"
candidate of the United People's Movement (UPM). She said
Atambayev could bring more money to the campaign than rival
Temir Sariyev, and that other factors, such as name
recognition or regional appeal, played no role in the
selection. (Note: Sariyev later broke from the UPM and
decided to run as the nominee of his Ak Shumkar Party. End
Note.) However, Ibraimova claimed, neither Atambayev nor
Sariyev had any expectation of winning, and both were now
trying to cut deals with the Kyrgyz White House. She said
their role in the campaign was only to "legitimize" Bakiyev's
victory in the July 23 poll.
Kazakh Backing for Sadyrkulov?
4. (C) Ibraimova provided further details on former Chief of
Staff Medet Sadyrkulov's plans to oust Bakiyev (ref E).
(Note: Sadyrkulov was killed in a suspicious car accident on
March 13 after reportedly meeting with contacts in Almaty.
End Note.) Ibraimova told us that Kazakh businessman
Alexander Maskeyevich had agreed to bankroll Sadyrkulov, and
she claimed that Maskeyevich had done so with the blessing of
President Nazarbayev. She said she had a meeting scheduled
with Maskeyevich in early May, but the meeting had fallen
Warnings about Sadyrkulov
BISHKEK 00000494 002.2 OF 002
5. (C) Ibraimova said that in summer 2008 she had been warned
by members of the Bakiyev family to distance herself from
Sadyrkulov. She said that as Deputy Prime Minister she had
met twice with Bakiyev's brother Janysh, the head of the
Presidential Security Service, who had tried to get her to
move away from Sadyrkulov. Around the same time, Bakiyev's
son Marat, the Deputy Chair of the State Committee on
National Security, had told her that Sadyrkulov would be "out
of the picture or dead" by the end of the year.
A Third Force?
6. (C) By early May, following her expulsion from the Ak Jol
Party and distancing herself from the opposition (Ref B),
Ibraimova had become fairly disillusioned with the government
and the opposition. She told us at the time that she wanted
to focus on building "political discussion groups" and create
a "third force" of "professionals, young politicians, and
ex-politicians" to provide fresh blood to Kyrgyz society
which "does not believe in the government or the opposition."
Out of Kyrgyzstan
7. (C) However, earlier this week, Ibraimova told an Amcit
Embassy employee that she now wants to leave Kyrgyzstan for a
period, possibly to work with an international organization
such as the World Bank. (Note: Ibraimova had previously
headed the World Bank-funded ARIS community development
program in Kyrgyzstan. End Note.) Ibraimova said she would
like to return to politics at some point in the future, and
she believes that the Bakiyev group will not last long in
power, mainly due to divisions within the First Family. As
she has on previous occasions, she characterized Bakiyev and
his circle as driven entirely by greed and self-interest,
with little regard for developing the country.
8. (C) While Ibraimova still has contacts in both the
government and opposition camps, she apparently now realizes
that she lacks the necessary support and funding to challenge
Bakiyev under current conditions. Ibraimova may have been
"used" as a front for Sadyrkulov's ambitions, as former
Foreign Minister and current Presidential Advisor Muratbek
Imanaliyev told the Ambassador (Ref A), but in our previous
interactions with her when she was Deputy Prime Minister we
found her to be constructive, generally helpful, and
talented. If circumstances change, she may again be able to
play a role in politics and government.