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New Kyrgyz President Optimistic About Democracy

11 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's newly elected president, Kurmanbek Bakiev, today expressed satisfaction about his victory in the 10 July election.

He noted that international observers recognized the vote as generally free and fair.

At his first news conference since the polls, Bakiev said in Bishkek that the successful election demonstrates the aspiration of the Kyrgyz people to follow democratic procedures.

"The people demonstrated high civic activity and made their choice," Bakiev said. "And it is understandable. Kyrgyzstan's people are tired of poverty and unemployment, instability and uncertainty that some [forces] try to benefit from".

Bakiev said that the president's powers should be reduced. He also said he will soon present Feliks Kulov's nomination for the premiership to parliament for endorsement.

Bakiev also questioned the continued presence of U.S. troops at a military base they have used since late 2001.

Bakiev said the necessity of the U.S. base at Manas international airport near Bishkek should be discussed now that the situation in Afghanistan has stabilized.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of Kyrgyzstan's presidential election, see "Kyrgyzstan Votes 2005"