Ex-Kyrgyz prosecutor general proposes Kyrgyz fluency requirement for officials


BISHKEK -- Azimbek Beknazarov, former Kyrgyz prosecutor general, has proposed requiring government officials to speak the Kyrgyz language fluently, reported Wednesday (January 23).

Beknazarov and other authors of a document addressed to President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, parliament and the cabinet proposed a Kyrgyz proficiency requirement for civil service applicants.

The proposal includes a 5,550 KGS ($80) fine for officials who fail to demonstrate fluency.

The initiative will help strengthen the stature of Kyrgyz, which plummeted in 2000 when Russian received "official" language status, giving the former colonial tongue near-parity with Kyrgyz --- the "state" language, according to Beknazarov.

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