First Injuries Reported in Kyrgyzstan
Eighth Government Building is Taken Over By Protesters
Opposition demonstrations have taken place in several locations in Kyrgyzstan, including in Bishkek, Jalal-Abad, Talas, Kochkor, Toktogul, Bazarkorgon, Batken, and Nooken. Radio Free Europe is reporting:
The demonstrators seek the resignation of President Akaev and the annulment of the recent parliamentary elections: “We will keep this authority until all of our demands and problems will be resolved. We are an [interim] power. We can talk about the fulfillment of our tasks when the current government will be replaced by a government that is trusted by the nation.”
Three policemen were hospitalized with minor injuries during the rally Friday in the town of Osh, about 700 kilometers (430 miles) south of the capital, Bishkek, police said.
They were the first reported injuries in nationwide protests sparked by the Feb. 27 parliamentary polls in which President Askar Akayev secured an overwhelmingly loyal Parliament and his son and daughter won seats. The rallies intensified following March 13 runoffs.
About 2,000 protesters have been occupying a district administration office in the southern town of Uzghen for several days, protesting election officials’ decision to rerun the runoff vote there.
Meanwhile, RIA Novosti reports more news from Osh:
In Kyrgyzstan’s southern capital Osh, several hundred people participated in the seizure of the building of the regional administration in protest against recent parliamentary election results. This attack has not inflicted any serious damage to the building, except for several broken doors, with the personnel having quitted their offices without any hindrance, reports the Kyrgyz foreign ministry.
Dr Michael A. Weinstein at the Power and Interest News Report has a complete analysis of the Kyrgyzstan political situation.
Two sections of the Bishkek-Osh highway remain closed to traffic.
“Law enforcement agencies plan a series of preventive measures against the protesters” to unblock the road, the press service said.