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Ata Meken is one of the oldest parties in the Kyrgyz republic, it was founded in 1992 by a centre-left group who splintered from the Erkin Kyrgyzstan Party. The party has been involved in all parliamentary elections since 1992 and its chairmen Tekebayev has attempted twice to become President. The party suffered during Kyrgyzstan’s early presidencies: in 1995 the supreme court suspended him from running in the presidential elections, while in the 2007 parliamentary elections the party received 228,125 votes, but no seats. The party was involved in both revolutions 2005 and 2010, after which Tekebayev served as deputy prime minister in the interim government.
Currently the party is part of the ruling SDPK government coalition having won 7.7% of the 2015 parliamentary elections, winning them 11 seats. Although Ata Meken received the smallest number of seats in 2015, Tekebayev is a well-known figure in Kyrgyz politics, coming second in the 2000 presidential elections with 14% of the vote. It can be assumed that he will be running again in the fast approaching presidential elections.
It has been suspected that Ata Meken would be the most likely dissident party within the ruling collation. President Atambayev went so far as to accuse them of having “one foot in government, one in opposition,” due their frequent and public criticism of the government of which they are a part.
Also since the 2015 election the party has been involved in suspicious internal reorganisation activities, namely the departure of some of the recently elected MPs. The most surprising departure is of Joomart Saparbayev, the country’s youngest legislator, best known for his accusations of corruption against then Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov which resulted in the Prime Minister’s resignation. It is said that he is leaving politics to pursue his business interests, although this seems unlikely as he was a rising star in Ata Meken. His departure is attributed to internal conflict in the party, as many other parties MPs who may not have achieved their targets in the election campaign are seemingly being forced to resign. A troubling development for Kyrgyzstan’s political future.
Omurbek Tekebayev – Party Chairmen, deputy prime minister in the interim government and presidential nominee.
1992 – Party is founded
1994 – Parliamentary elections – won 5 seats in parliament
1995 – Presidential elections – Chairmen Tekebayev nominated for elections, however his nomination is rejected by the supreme court
2000 – Parliamentary elections – won 2 seats in parliament
2000 – Presidential elections – came second in the 2000 presidential elections with 14% of the vote
2005 – Tulip Revolution – took an active role in the opposition to the government
2007 – Parliamentary elections – received 228,125 votes, but no seats
2010 – Parliamentary elections – won 18 seats in parliament
2010 – Revolution – took an active role in the opposition to the government
2010 – Chairmen Tekebayev becomes deputy prime minister in the interim government
2011 – Ata Meken joins the governing coalition formed by the SDPK, Respublika and Ar-Namys
2015 – Parliamentary elections – won 7.7% of the vote, winning them 11 seats. Ata Meken joins the governing coalition formed by the SDPK, Onuguu-Progress, Kyrgyzstan party and the SDPK.