Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 67

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Zhumabek Ibraimov was buried in Bishkek yesterday after having spent less than three months in that office. Appointed on December 24, 1998, Ibraimov went on “leave” on March 1, was hospitalized on March 12 in a Moscow oncological clinic, underwent surgery by a noted specialist–Professor Mikhail Davydov–there, and died on April 4. It turned out that Ibraimov had lost two-thirds of his stomach as a result of cancer surgery which he had undergone in 1996. Official communiques at the time did not release details of his medical situation.

Ibraimov had served from 1993-98, successively, as mayor of the capital Bishkek, adviser with the rank of state secretary to President Askar Akaev, and chairman of the State Property Fund, overseeing the privatization process. That process produced both winners and losers among the country’s clans, which are constituted on the basis of interlocking regional, business and family ties. Ibraimov is credited with having downsized and streamlined the governmental apparatus during his brief tenure as prime minister. Tipped to succeed in that post is Amangeldy Muraliev, the incumbent governor of the Osh region, Kyrgyzstan’s most complicated. The region is inhabited by Uzbeks and is a traditional stronghold of the Muslim piety (Itar-Tass, April 6; see the Monitor, December 24, 1998; March 15, 24, 1999).

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