Kyrgyzstan- The Friendly, Yurt Revolution
Kyrgyzstan’s parliament Saturday scheduled a June presidential election to replace longtime leader Askar Akayev, who took refuge in Moscow after opposition protesters seized government headquarters. The opposition leader who assumed power said he plans to run in that vote.
Former opposition leaders now in power have suggested a new legislative vote would be held sometime after a presidential election.
The new Kyrgyz leadership also said it had no plans to extradite Akayev, saying he could stay in Russia if he wanted to. But acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev also told Associated Press Television News that Akayev could return to the country and would be treated “in accordance with the constitution” if he did. He did not elaborate.
Felix Kulov, in charge of law enforcement, said on Kyrgyz television that the new leadership would not seek “vengeance” against former officials, and he saw no evidence that Akayev should face impeachment proceedings on charges of treason or grave crimes against the people.
A semblance of calm returned to the capital, Bishkek, after two nights of looting and sporadic gunfire that followed Akayev’s ouster, while rival lawmakers struggled for legitimacy in the wake of the opposition takeover of this Central Asian nation.
Iskander Shamshiyev, an opposition leader whose organization has been working with police to restore order, said three looters were killed overnight and there were a number of clashes.
But Interior Ministry spokesman Nurdin Jangarayev made no mention of bloodshed.
“Everything was normal last night — better than the previous night. We were working with volunteers all night. We have calmed the people down,” he said.
Akayev in Moscow- reports that he did not resign )but, I don’t think he will be going back anytime too soon:
The Kremlin confirmed Saturday that Akayev was in Russia, but a spokesman refused to elaborate. The Russian news agency Interfax, citing unspecified sources, said Akayev arrived in Moscow late Friday.
Akayev apparently has not resigned, and the legitimacy of the new leaders in power in Kyrgyzstan remains unclear.
Akayev’s departure made Kyrgyzstan the third former Soviet republic in the past 18 months — after Georgia and Ukraine — to see protests bring down long-entrenched leaders widely accused of corruption. The 60-year-old Akayev had led Kyrgyzstan since 1990, before it gained independence in the Soviet collapse.
Late last week, when the protest suddenly grew to a crowd of thousands who then decided to occupy the government’s office, the policemen simply stood aside and let them in.
And the revolution definately had it’s own “flavor”:
* The horses of rural protesters were tethered to the roadside poplar trees.
* Three of the round felt nomads tents, known as yurts, were set up on the road and speakers addressed the crowd of demonstrators through a megaphone.
* A couple of hundred demonstrators had occupied the governor’s office in Jalabad for more than a week, but they chatted quite happily to militiamen who were also in the grounds keeping an eye on them.
* “Once, when we lived as nomads in the mountains, our life was clean, we lived in our yurts and kept our horses and sheep, and there was no corruption then. We want to have a clean life again.”
Kyrgyzstan…Just Your Ordinary Friendly Yurt Revolution
Just Like That!