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Friday, July 01, 2005

 

Uncertainty over Kyrgyzstan's future

From The Economist:

While presidential elections are to be held later this month, it will take several more months before the new amendments can be put to a vote—probably in parliament rather than at a referendum. Whether the new president, who is widely expected to be Kurmanbek Bakiev, the acting one, will still be as enthusiastic about the project once he is permanently installed, remains to be seen. He was once prime minister under the now departed Mr Akaev and only latterly joined the opposition.

Furthermore, many parliamentarians, voted into office in two flawed rounds of elections in February and March that benefited Mr Akaev and triggered the uprising, fear that Mr Bakiev might then disband them. Some of them are already talking about storming the Kirgiz White House again.

Breaking the cycle of corruption, the stated goal of the interim leadership, will be key to the success of the revolution. But Mr Bakiev is already being criticised for the lack of new faces among his political appointees, including on the central election commission. He has formed a union with his strongest rival, Felix Kulov, a former senior government official and political prisoner, who will be named prime minister if Mr Bakiev becomes president. This marriage of convenience—Mr Bakiev is from the south, Mr Kulov from the north—is expected to unite the country and ensure victory for both in a field of six candidates. Mr Kulov would presumably take on a greater role under the new constitution. Whether the union will be durable, though, is another matter.

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