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Kyrgyzstan Warns U.S. Against Interference

For news, background, and analysis on Kyrgyzstan's 27 February parliamentary elections, see RFE/RL's webpage "Kyrgyzstan Votes 2005" --> /specials/kyrgyzelections/ .

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; 26 February 2005 -- The Kyrgyz government has warned the United States that interference in the country's internal affairs could have "unpredictable" consequences.

The statement today by First Deputy Foreign Minister Talant Kushchubekov comes after U.S. Ambassador Stephen Young told Kyrgyz media on 18 February that a failure of tomorrow's parliamentary elections to meet U.S. democratic standards would have a negative impact on the two countries' relations.

Kushchubekov said on state radio that a failure of the U.S. Embassy to show "greater restraint" in its commentary could produce what he called an "unpredictable reaction."

Kushchubekov's remarks came as protesters ended days of demonstrations in various parts of the country over the disqualification of several opposition candidates in the polls.

Overnight in the town of Bokonbaev, disqualified candidate Arslan Maliev appealed to supporters to end their protest and participate in the election.

"We are powerful if we unite! Nobody can beat us, never ever!," Maliev said.

Central Election Commission Chairman Sulaiman Imanbaev says 390 candidates will compete for 75 parliamentary seats in the poll.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)

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