Monday, March 21, 2005

Akaev Calls for Probe

Hoping to appease demonstrators, Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev called for a probe of alleged fraud in the recent parliamentary elections. This comes as protests continue across the south, with opposition forces in Osh seizing the airport to prevent the government from flying in security forces. Protestors continue to seek Akaev's resignation, but as long as things remain calm in Bishkek, I don't think that will happen. This article indicates opposition leaders are aware of that and are working to stir things in the capital. In the meantime, the government's best hope remains fracturing the opposition, some of whom are willing to negotiate.

As the western media starts to notice these events, the BBC discusses their regional implications. One issue they raise is ethnicity, but so far that doesn't seem to have been a factor, with ethnic minorities supposedly mostly in Akaev's corner out of a concern for stability. The fault lines seem to be regional, not linguistic.


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