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.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
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Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
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