Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev (file photo) (RFE/RL)
March 23, 2006 -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev today defended his first year in office, saying more time is needed for democracy to flourish in Kyrgyzstan.
Speaking on the eve of the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled then-President Askar Akaev, Bakiev acknowledged that Kyrgyzstan still faces problems with organized crime and endemic corruption, but said these are problems difficult to eradicate quickly.
Bakiev said he remains committed to implementing constitutional reform, but argued that the process should be gradual to give people time to adjust.
The Tulip Revolution
ONE YEAR AGO: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's archive of coverage of Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution from the beginning, including biographical sketches of the key players and photo galleries of the demonstrations.
See RFE/RL's special review of the March 2005 Kyrgyz events: