Opposition threatens protests against Kyrgyzstan's leadership

Opposition threatens protests against Kyrgyzstan's leadership - Central Asia News Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan-Sports Business and Entertainment

Alena Artsimovich

2008-10-14

BISHKEK, Oct 13—An ultimatum issued by Usen Sydykov, former Secretary of State, ex-member of the administration's inner circle, and now head of the newly-minted Zhany Kyrgyzstan Party, states that "if by the end of the month there are no cardinal changes in the country's course, both in economic and political matters, Zhany Kyrgyzstan reserves the right to stage protests in November." The Party's leadership is composed of former government officials who left the government under a cloud of scandal.

Sydykov insists, however, that his is not an opposition party, though this statement is cast into doubt by the party's plans to stage protests at the end of November. "We have no intention of creating a political opposition. However, we don't agree with the results of the recent local elections—we believe the vote totals were falsified."

Sydykov went on to hint that the “gray cardinal” and the “enemy of the Kyrgyz people” is the president's chief of staff, Medet Sadyrkulov. A number of political analysts believe that Zhany Kyrgyzstan was created to counter Sadyrkulov’s influence on the government. Zhany Kyrgyzstan party members aim to call for him to step down immediately and for the election results to be annulled by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev

Members of the Ata-Meken and Ak-Shumkar opposition parties show no intention of joining forces with Zhany Kyrgyzstan on the basis of their shared antipathy towards Sadyrkulov. But they do concur that the results of the latest round of local elections were falsified, and Ata-Meken intends to contest the results in court. "We have some chance at success. The situation in the country is becoming increasingly difficult. As far as joining forces with Zhany Kyrgyzstan, I'll say this: there are certain issues in the country around which even politicians from opposite ends of the spectrum can unite."

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