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Kyrgyz President Says Situation In Country Could Worsen --> President Akaev Bishkek, 17 December 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev has warned that the political situation might deteriorate in the country next year.

Akaev, speaking today at the meeting of the Council of Defense, said Islamic radicals might try to use force in the country. "The rise of terrorism in the region is alarming. The activities of the [Islamic] party Hizb ut-Tahrir also raises serious concerns. And an example of this is the terrorist acts committed this year in neighboring Uzbekistan. We consider that the activities of any party should be built on an open base within the framework of the constitution. And any actions beyond this framework should be considered anticonstitutional."

Akaev ordered the council to formulate duties for all power structures, including the military. Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition Erkindik (Freedom) party, Topchubek Turgunaliev, said Akaev only seeks to ruin the reputation of the opposition.

"This is just a fantasy of Akaev's team. This is their attempt to blacken the opposition's reputation," he said. "There are no radical forces in Kyrgyzstan as was stated by Akaev."

(ITAR-TASS, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)