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Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Otunbayeva: Kyrgyzstan returning to democracy

From Kansas City InfoZine:

Kyrgyzstan's acting foreign minister, Roza Otunbayeva, compared her country's March 24 Tulip Revolution to those of other former Soviet republics and said the country remains a democracy.

She assured an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that the country, once internationally recognized as a Central Asian "island of democracy" in the Jeffersonian model, will return to democracy. The revolution brought to light the country's political opposition leaders who were in the shade during Akayev's presidency.

Bakiyev and opposition leaders who run the current government are preparing for July 10 presidential elections. Otunbayeva said that they have already hired international lawyers and experts to investigate the revolution, its consequences and its effect on the Kyrgyz economy.

"Tenth of July, the most challenging event, a sort of examination which we have to pass in front of the international committee in order to prove our true intention to be a democratic country," Otunbayeva said.

"This is our second attempt to prove our ideas, values and orientation after the collapse of the Soviet Union when we became an independent country," she said.

For establishing a "strong democratic state and civil society," she said the country's temporary authorities are planning to "eradicate corruption, introduce a new economic policy, bring into the government young leaders."

To overcome country's foreign debt, which exceeds the country's gross domestic product, the government is planning to "do everything possible to hold honest and transparent elections," where "everyone will vote according to his conscience and will," Otunbayeva said.

After the elections, Kyrgyzstan authorities are planning to turn the country into a multi-party government with a president as head of state.

"We want to make sure that there is a balance between executives, legislatives and court," she said.

Otunbayeva said the country needs help from the United States to prevent a return to the former "corrupted Kyrgyzstan."

"We are awaiting help from the United States to protect and build democracy in our country," since "everything what is western in Kyrgyzstan today is thanks to the United States."

Current Kyrgyz authorities want to replace Akayev's "pseudo-democratic" reforms without violating the country's civil norms. "We want to become an independent, market orientated country," Otunbayeva concluded.

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