03 May 2006

No Worries, Mr. Bakiev

So, most of the Kyrgyzstan ministers attempted to resign yesterday, but Bakiev refused to accept their resignation. Since the resignations were in response to a vote on Friday by Parliament, Bakiev blames this round of instability on Parliament.

Actually, there is very little Parliament can do to get rid of the government. The best they can do is a no confidence vote, but it's not a very effective no confidence vote, because the president gets to choose if he will ignore it. If he does, Parliament can do a no confidence vote again (2/3 majority required both times) within three months, and then the president chooses whether he dissolves the government or simply dismisses Parliament.

No worries for the president there.** And he's said that if anyone tries to storm the White House, he'll be waiting for them.

Of course, maybe Bakiev will start to see the writing on the wall. Despite the fact that most of the rest of the country is nowhere near as annoyed with him as many in Bishkek are, those supporters certainly aren't giving him a lot of help. But he still seems quite determined to keep himself in power. Maybe he hasn't yet made enough money to make up for the bribes he must have paid out a year ago.

One of the subjects my husband has been teaching is constitutional law and in their assignment to create their own constitutions, it is very interesting to see how many choose a system that places nearly all of the power with the president.

**Actually, the president can be impeached, but that's so unlikely to happen it's not worth worrying about. Two-thirds of Parliament have to approve the impeachment, then the Constitutional Court has to approve the decision. If the CC doesn't approve, Parliament is dissolved (quite the deterrent). If the CC approves the decision, it returns to Parliament where four-fifths of the deputies have to approve the president's removal within two months.

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