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Bishkek Demonstrators Criticize President

Demonstrators participating in the 28 October rally in Bishkek (RFE/RL) Bishkek, 28 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Some 1,500 people gathered in Bishkek today to show support for Prime Minister Feliks Kulov, who was the target of a weeklong protest demanding his resignation.

Demonstrators assembled in Bishkek's central square holding signs that read "The People Back Kulov" and "Prevent Civil War."

Demonstrators also criticized President Kurmanbek Bakiev for not showing more support for Kulov during protests against the prime minister.

Aziza Abdyrasulova, the head of the NGO "Torch of the Century," called on Bakiyev to make clear that he and Kulov were still the team voters cast ballots for in July's presidential elections.

"We, all the people who gather here now, and other hundreds of thousands of people in Kyrgyzstan, participated in the presidential elections in support of the tandem between Feliks Kulov and [Kurmanbek] Bakiev," Abdyrasulova said. "It has passed two or three months after [the elections], and now Bakiev is not telling openly whether the tandem is still in force or not."

The death of a member of parliament during a prison riot last week sparked the anti-Kulov demonstration.

The dead paliamentarian's brother, alleged to have ties to criminal groups, organized the anti-Kulov protests.

The anti-Kulov protest ended yesterday after President Bakiev negotiated with the demonstrators.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service-Tchoroev/AFP/AP)