Kyrgyzstan Updates

by Nathan Hamm on 6/20/2005

Police in Bishkek have blocked access to the square in front of government buildings that have been seized by protesters all too embarrassingly often in recent months.

Judging from comments left in an earlier post, the word on the street is that last week’s protest and seizure of the building by supporters of Urmatbek Baryktabasov was a bought and paid for affair. A former parliament speaker, Mukar Shaltakovich Cholponbayev, is reported to have been involved in the protest, urging people on. He has been arrested as a suspected organizer of the protest.

Cholponbayev is a supporter of Askar Akayev and Baryktabasov is being denied the chance to run for president because he is a Kazakh citizen. Bakiyev’s government is pointing a finger at Akayev and it certainly is worth keeping an eye on Kazakhstan’s role in Kyrgyz politics.

In other news of Kyrgyz politics, Feliks Kulov has resigned from his deputy prime minister position to focus on campaigning for Bakiyev’s presidential campaign. As for Bakiyev, he has signed a decree removing his powers as prime minister until the election on July 10.

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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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