The demands of many of the protesters who helped sweep Askar Akayev from power have yet to be met. No surprise really since for many protesters, the apparent goal was not to eliminate corruption or strengthen democracy, but to get their favored candidate onto ballots or into office. That’s not to say that democracy and corruption were not concerns, but that they did not seem to be the highest priority for many, especially those from outside Bishkek.
It should come as little surprise that tensions remain after Kyrgyzstan’s accidental* revolution. They’ve started to boil over this week. First was the violence in Osh and then the seizure of the White House in Bishkek by protesters. Police recaptured the building shortly thereafter.
The protesters were demanding that Urmatbek Baryktabasov, a businessman, be allowed onto the ballot for the July 10 presidential election. Mosnews reports that he is not allowed to run because he is a Kazakh citizen.
The tension in Kyrgyzstan still remains and it’s certainly too soon to call the country a liberal democracy. There is still quite a way to go.
More photos are available here
* I say “accidental” because I don’t think anyone had expected Akayev to fall so quickly and there seemed to be little planning for such an eventuality.
Update: RFE/RL has more on the story and its aftermath.
They also have something that inspires ever-so-much confidence in Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Bakiev said that today’s protests were financed from Kazakhstan by persons close to Akaev. He said authorities are ready to use force to maintain law and order.
I don’t want to be too hard on the guy, but I can’t help but think of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”