Kyrgyzstan former president Almazbek Atambayev has made a characteristically pugnacious return to the political bull-ring following his unchallenged coronation this weekend as head of the party he helped create in the 1990s, according to

With Atambayev back in charge of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, or SDPK, a fresh dose of intrigue has reportedly been injected into a scene rendered largely sterile by escalating repression.

The SDPK congress was held at Bishkek’s Orion Hotel on March 31.  

“I am two years older than him.  Like an older brother, I have to tell him things — often unpleasant things — that few people can say to the president of Kyrgyzstan,” Atambayev said.

Atambayev said that he and Jeenbekov spoke recently for four-and-a-half hours, but insisted that salacious rumors the pair had come to blows during one of their encounters were quite untrue. notes that this is an unusual moment for Kyrgyz politics.  There can be little doubt that Jeenbekov owes his presidency to Atambayev, who only left his throne because he was required to do so after having served one six-year term.  Since his swearing-in in November, Jeenbekov, however, has begun assembling his own power base, igniting talk of schisms.

Atambayev announced he would return to the SDPK and lead it into battle at the next parliamentary elections, currently slated for 2020.

There are some mercantile motivations at play here.  Control over the SDPK reportedly gives Atambayev effective control over the party lists ahead of national and provincial elections.  

And this may all set up a parliament-versus-president’s office dynamic that the country has not seen for a while. Atambayev is already making it clear he wants a say in running the show.

At the post-congress press conference, the pudding bowl-coiffured party leader reserved considerable animus for Jeenbekov’s handling of the Security Council, a largely consultative body.

"I'm telling him: 'Look at who you have got working at the Security Council." I got Temir Jumakadyrov [to head the council] and he brought in serious people.  Now they have all left, and [their replacements] just check whether or not security officials are wearing uniforms," he seethed.

This is obviously sublimated rage at something altogether different, according to says that in the event of any clash, Atambayev reportedly still has strong cards to play.  Both the GKNB and the Interior Ministry are led by cronies.