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Thursday, January 20, 2005


More protests in Bishkek

From Radio Free Europe:

Bishkek, 19 January 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Around 400 people gathered in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek today to protest yesterday's Supreme Court ruling that upholds a decision to bar former ambassadors from running in upcoming parliamentary elections.

Members from all of Kyrgyzstan's opposition blocs participated in today's rally. Topchubek Turgunaliev, leader of the Erkindik (Freedom) Party, led protesters in a call for President Askar Akaev's resignation:

"After assessing the current situation, we decided to start collecting signatures on 1 February, from the whole of Kyrgyzstan, from both the south and north, from villages and towns, demanding that Akaev resign from power immediately! Is that right, fellow countrymen?" Turgunaliev asked. Protesters answered: "Yes, that is right! Akaev, go away!"

Protesters also want to see the sacking of top electoral officials.

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