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Akaev Defiant As Opposition Controls Several Cities

Bishkek, 23 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Protesters continue to hold key government buildings and general control in several towns, as the international community is offering assistance in resolving the situation.

The protesters say recent parliamentary polls in Kyrgyzstan were fraudulent

Our correspondents say demonstrators occupy government offices in Osh and Jalal-Abad, as well as in several smaller towns -- including Talas, Kochkor, and Kadamjai.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Dimitrij Rupel, chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, both offered Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev help yesterday in resolving the dispute, which started last month during the run-up to 27 February parliamentary elections.

Akaev opened the first session of the new parliament in Bishkek by saying the election results were valid. Akaev said he will neither heed the demonstrators' demands that he annul the polls and resign, nor a call by lawmakers that he announce a state of emergency. (Reuters/AFP/AP)


Photo Gallery: How The Protests Unfolded

Authorities Attempt To Contain Protests, Negotiate

Kyrgyz Police Battle With Protesters In Southern Cities

For more on the Kyrgyz elections, see RFE/RL's dedicated website Kyrgyzstan Votes 2005