Kyrgyzstan: Updates From the Street

by Nathan Hamm on 3/10/2005 · 7 comments

For the latest on Kyrgyzstan, click on Manas.

Exclusive: Must credit Thinking-East.Net and

I’ve received a number of interesting observations from those who are witness to the situation in the Kyrgyztan via Ben Paarmann.

We’re waiting for further approval before passing on some of the information — observations from Osh as well as news from KelKel (UPDATE: now below) — so keep checking back for more.

The following is from a Kyrgyz employee of an international NGO and is edited to protect identities. Some of the information is already known though with more details than we’ve seen elsewhere. Protests in Talas? Interesting…

So, as for the elections, it is getting really hot.

On Candidates:
Overall there were 427 candidates registered, from which 6 were later taken from the race. Among them was one candidate from Kochkor whose opponent – Usubaliev Turdakun (an 86-year-old pro-government person) took him to the court. People protested few days, but went to the election and voted against all (about 62% !!!). So this is the only district where elections will be held later in 2-3 months.

Noticeably that most candidates from JK previous convocation were not re-elected. Most came from business sector.

74 candidates were nominated from political parties, Alga Kyrgyzstan is the dominant one. The others were self-nominated.

39 were women-candidates, but none won the first tour, only few left for the second tour, including Bermet, president’s daughter.

Current situation:
Today Naryn, Jalal Abad, Issyk Kul, Talas and Bishkek have protesting people against government’s dominance and attemp to control the elections in terms of who should be elected.

In Naryn, there are about 300 people who yesterday stormed the oblast administration demanding that Ishenbai Kadyrbekov should not be removed from teh second tour. 11 District Election Commission members went on hunger-strike but stopped it on the request of governor. 7 protesters are on hunger strike in answer to that. People set up yurts in front of the Obalst administration and blocked few strategic roads to China.

The most dangerous situation is in Jalal-Abad. In Jalal-Abad, about 10,000 people are continuing blocking the oblast administration and protesting in Central park. Several opposition famous figures are meeting with them and from yeserday Bakiev, supported with others, has
started initiating the idea of conducting presidential elections first, remove current government and after that do the rest of parliamentary elections. I think xxxxxx can brief you better about this place, because he’s been on a trip to there for a while.

Also about 200 people in Osh came from Kara-Kulja, 1,000 from Uzgen is going to start marching to Osh.

Some protests are going on in Issyk Kul and Talas as well.

Another interesting place is University district in Bishkek, where Bermet [Akayeva] and Maripov, a journalist, are competing.

There is a new youth organization formed – “Birge ” (together – against fear), consisting of students who are against pressure from university administration. They stand for students’ conscious choice for whom to vote.

Yesterday they went on strike in front of the National University (first there were about 30 of them, later about 200 students joined them).

Ben emails to say about the report of the protests in Talas:

I find interesting that xxxxx reports of protests being held in Talas – that’d be very interesting as Mr Akaev himself comes from that region – and it’s supposed to be very loyal to the regime. I think I’ll have to update my map!

KelKel goes to Jalalabad

KelKel reports that they sent representatives to Jalalabad’s university, but unable to enter the buildings while students were barred from going out to hear their speeches. They did talk to some students who showed interest in the organization but were reluctant to get on board out of fear of being expelled from school. These students agreed to join the protesters at the regional government building and KelKel activists invited them to meet to discuss forming a Jalalabad youth network within KelKel.

See Page 2 for updates from the media

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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C Schwartz March 10, 2005 at 10:45 am

Very exciting!

God, I need to get my butt in gear and do some proper coverage of the Mideast… 😉

Robert March 10, 2005 at 8:35 pm

Nathan: What can I say? You are the MAN! This is incredibly exciting. It was impossible to predict that protests would come this far. Here’s to hope!

Nathan March 10, 2005 at 9:04 pm

Give Ben tons of credit on this too. He’s the one who has the contacts in Kyrgyzstan and the one getting the info to me! I’m just doing the coding!

Ari March 11, 2005 at 9:43 am

Akayev is from Kemin, not Talas.

Nathan March 11, 2005 at 9:51 am

That’s reflected in today’s update.

Ben March 11, 2005 at 9:53 am

Sorry, that was a misjudgement from my side.


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