More Russian Reaction

by Laurence on 3/24/2005 · 1 comment


“I don’t believe Otunbayeva and Bakiyev could stage violent attacks. They are both intellectuals who have been educated in Russia and worked in the West and they abhor violence,” said Sanobar Shermatova, a staff writer for the Moskovskiye Novosti weekly and the author of a book about Akayev. “The attacks were triggered by southern drug barons, who have been threatening to squeeze Akayev out of power for a long time.”

In Shermatova’s view, the opposition to Akayev sonsists of a motley crew of various political forces in search of a charismatic leader. Akayev’s arch-enemy, general Felix Kulov, who helped Akayev win election in the early 1990s, and later turned against him, was put in jail in 2000 on corruption charges. Otunbayeva and Bakiyev have so far been unable to make a strong showing at elections. During the parliamentary elections, Otunbayeva ran against Akayev’s daughter, Bermet, a 32-year-old computer science graduate of Moscow State University and a former UN official, who dealt with compensation for victims of the Persian Gulf war. Both women ran for parliament in the same constituency in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital. Bermet Akayeva won in the second round.

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