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Kyrgyz Opposition Leader Meets With Bakiev

Temir Sariev (file photo) (RFE/RL) March 19, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz opposition leader Temir Sariev today discussed the country's current political situation with President Kurmanbek Bakiev, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Sariev, from the For Reforms Movement, told RFE/RL that Bakiev rejected calls for early presidential elections, but said he was committed to important reforms.

"The opposition's main demand now is an early presidential election" Sariev told RFE/RL. "I asked [Bakiev] if he could accept it and he said he would never do that. Then I said if he was not going to [accept] an early election, there could be a big confrontation with violence in the country and the only way to get out of it would be drastic reforms. The president said that he understood that, that he assumed all responsibility, and that he was ready for drastic reforms."

Bakiev also reportedly said he was ready to discuss with the opposition the formation of a new coalition government.

Kyrgyzstan's opposition says it will organize nationwide rallies for reforms next month.

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Central Asia In Focus

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