< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://davejustus.com/" >

Friday, June 17, 2005

Baby steps


Supporters of a presidential hopeful who was denied registration stormed government headquarters Friday and clashed with police, injuring 39 people in the largest disturbance since the March uprising that ousted the leader of the former Soviet republic. Police and Interior Ministry troops firing tear gas regained control of the building an hour after the crowd of about 2,000 forced its way through a gate. Up to 100 Interior Ministry troops carrying riot shields and truncheons sealed off the building after driving out the protesters. They then advanced on the crowd outside, beating their shields and causing protesters to break and run. The protesters said they were supporters of Urmat Baryktabasov, a candidate who was denied registration in next month's presidential election, but interim President Kurmanbek Bakiyev pinned the blame on backers of former President Askar Akayev.
The Kyrgyz crowd obviously didn't behave very well (or were purposefully confrontational if Bakiyev's claims are to be believed.) It will take time for a system to develop that people can trust, and for people to develop trust in that system. It appears that Baryktabasov was denied registration for a pretty good reason.
Election officials say Baryktabasov was denied registration because he is a citizen of Kazakhstan.
There is some dispute about this, but it doesn't seem to be a strong arm tactic to keep the opposition from running candidates, in my opinion. I have a pretty good feeling about the future of Kyrgyzstan.


Post a Comment

<< Home