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Rallies Against Kyrgyz President Continue

Demonstrators in Bishkek today (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, April 12, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- About 3,500 people have gathered in the center of Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, on the second day of protests demanding early presidential elections and constitutional reforms, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

The protesters say President Kurmanbek Bakiev has failed to deliver on promises to tackle corruption and undertake key reforms.

Earlier today, the Kyrgyz parliament failed to meet in an emergency session to discuss the current protest movement and the opposition's demands.

Lawmakers are scheduled to start discussing next week amendments and addenda to the constitution drawn up by a working group led by Prime Minister Almaz Atambaev.

Kyrgyz Voices

Kyrgyz Voices

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service on April 12 asked participants in the protest rally on Bishkek's Alatoo Square why they had come out into the streets.

Cholponbek, a youth group member from Bishkek:
"We want to change the political system and to build the worthy future for young people. That is why we came here."

Tatyana Nikolaevna, an ethnic Russian pensioner from Kaiyngdy, Chui Oblast:
"I came here to seek fairness. I was taken to the court and accused of mudslinging."

Turatbek, an Afghan War veteran from Bishkek:
"To improve the life of the people, we must change the constitution. We demand an early presidential election."

Mambetimin, NGO representative:
"If Bakiev was able to keep his promises and make reforms people would not come to the street. But he hasn't done anything and it forced people to come to the rally. We are strongly against the current government"

Kamchybek, unemployed from Bishkek:
"We must change the existing system. This is very important."

Kakan-apa, pensioner from Talas District, Talas Oblast:
"I came here to express my concern about the demolition of the Kulov-Bakiev tandem. I'm a mother of 10 children, with 30 grandchildren, and I am very much worried about their future."

Kudaibergen, Naryn district of Naryn Oblast:
"If Bakiev is following Akaev's path, then let him go away. Otherwise, he should take care of people and raise the youth. The future belongs to the young generation."


RFE/RL's coverage of Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz-language website of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.

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