Many opinions were voiced over the recent political reshuffles in the Executive. Never before have more than a dozen high officials lost their seat in a single day and more than 20 in a month.
The most surprising change came in early January with resignation of Medet Sadyrkulov and his protege Elmira Ibraimova (from positions of the Head of Presidential Administration and Vice Speaker of Parliament respectively). When Daniyar Usenov, a long-time adversary of Sadyrkulov came to occupy the seat, many expected purges in higher echelons of power. And that is exactly what happened in late January.
Even though President Bakiyev and several pro-power pundits stress that more young cadres with good education and proven experience were needed in the Executive, the matter of fact seems to be that Usenov is now pulling his own people into the White House. Even though President's changing favorites is not yet fully explained the following hypothesis seems to be a more plausible one: with presidential elections coming in 2010, Bakiev is getting ready for a tough battle with the opposition. However, the opposition might mobilize people even this spring, as soon as it gets warm enought for people to show up and stay.
Maybe that's why opposition leaders are being fiercely persecuted. To be more specific, criminal case has been opened up against O.Tekebayev for illegal modification of an assault weapon's bullet magazine.
President signed a bill recently allowing the involvement of the Army in civic affairs, another measure in case opposition gets too strong.