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Kyrgyz Protest Electricity Price Hike

Protesters gathered in Naryn
NARYN, Kyrgyzstan -- Some 600 people in the central Kyrgyz city of Naryn have protested against a price increase for electricity, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The demonstration was held on February 24 in Naryn's central park. Participants held placards with such slogans as "We can't pay the new prices for electricity" and "Government, listen to us!"

The demonstrators adopted an appeal to the government and the parliament demanding a lower price for electricity in this mountainous region. They gave the Kyrgyz authorities 10 days to meet their demand.

Naryn Mayor Almaz Kulmatov left his office to meet with the protesters. He promised to convey their demands to officials in Bishkek. Police surrounded the protesters but did not intervene.

The government announced late last year that utility prices would be increased in stages beginning in January.