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Kyrgyz Protesters Demand Greater Transparency From Interim Government

Prosecutor-General Baitemir Ibraev has dismissed the recordings.
Prosecutor-General Baitemir Ibraev has dismissed the recordings.
BISHKEK -- About 100 protesters picketed the Kyrgyz parliament building in Bishkek today, demanding a detailed report on the interim government's activities for the last 45 days, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The protesters also demanded more transparency in the interim government's financial operations.

The rally was sparked by a recorded telephone conversation allegedly between leading members of the interim government that appeared on the Internet and in other media over the weekend.

The conversation included voices that strongly resembled interim government members Almazbek Atambaev, Temir Sariev, and Azimbek Beknazarov discussing large sums of money allegedly being used in suspicious-sounding operations.

Prosecutor-General Baitemir Ibraev told journalists today that the recorded conversation had been intentionally edited in a way to distort the meaning.

Communist Party leader Iskhak Masaliev was arrested last week after a telephone conversation was broadcast by media outlets in which he and other politicians discussed organizing mass protests in southern Kyrgyzstan.

The interim government, which is made up of former opposition leaders, came to power after President Kurmanbek Bakiev fled the capital during clashes between antigovernment protesters and security forces on April 7 that killed 86 people and left hundreds of others injured.

The interim government will hold a referendum on a new constitution on June 27 and parliamentary elections on October 10.