The New Kyrgyz Government
On Thursday Kyrgyzstan’s opposition declared itself in power after seizing key government buildings as veteran president Askar Akayev vanished from view following days of violent protests. Reuters reporting tells the heavy dramatics of the day:
Security forces at first repelled protesters trying to enter the heavily defended White House — the seat of government — but then withdrew, allowing thousands to stream into the building and take control.
“This is a popular revolution and the power is in the hands of the people, we don’t fear anyone any more,” said Askat Dukenbayev, a professor from the local American University.
More than 70 people were reported injured in clashes with pro-Akayev supporters in Bishkek, a city of 800,000.
The United States called for calm and for fresh elections to be held.
Rumors flew that Akayev had fled the mountainous country, which appears likely to become the third former Soviet state in two years to see its entrenched leadership fall to popular protest after disputed elections, following Ukraine and Georgia.
Most of Kyrgyzstan’s opposition leaders are former political allies of Akayev who fell out with him for one reason or another.
Parliament appointed the head of the opposition coordinating committee, Kurmanbek Bakiev, as acting prime minister and gave him until 0500 GMT on Friday to come up with candidates for ministerial positions.
Supreme court head Kurmanbek Osmonov was quoted by Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency as saying the court had annulled an electoral commission decision validating the parliamentary polls. The ruling opens up the possibility of fresh elections.
Just to repeat… 70 injuries were documented on the day from this Reuters report. 70 injuries in a country of 5+ million on the historic day that saw the current government fall to Opposition protesters! Amazing!
“It’s the people who have taken power,” said Ulan Shambetov, an opposition activist who briefly sat in longtime President Askar Akayev’s office chair to celebrate. “They have been fighting for so long against corruption, against that (Akayev) family,” Shambetov said.
Opposition politicians pleaded in vain with the youths to stop smashing furniture and looting supplies they found in government offices and in a small pharmacy inside the building.