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Monday, June 06, 2005


Kyrgyz citizens 'see little change'

From The Boston Globe:

''Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed," said Darya Ibrayeva, a 35-year-old homemaker. She added that her husband, who gave up his job as a policeman a year ago for better-paid work selling clothing in Russia, still could not afford to return.

''The rich are still getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer," she said. ''I thought those who seized power would be different. But I've lost faith."

Marina Idakieva, 40, a hairdresser out walking her Pekingese, seemed more charitable. ''It takes time to make positive changes. I think things will really get better after the elections," she said, referring to the presidential contest scheduled for July 10.

Few people express doubt about who will win. The acting president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, is widely considered the favorite among otherwise obscure candidates. The former prime minister turned opposition figure was appointed to the temporary post by fellow protest leaders after Akayev resigned. Until recently, Bakiyev was expecting a stiff challenge from Felix Kulov, a magnetic former secret police official who was jailed by Akayev's government and was freed by protesters on the day they seized control of the presidential palace.

But in mid-May, Kulov agreed to withdraw from the race in exchange for Bakiyev's promise to appoint him prime minister.

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