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Opposition Leaders Criticize Kyrgyz President's Address

Opponents accuse Bakiev of seeking to strengthen his own powers
BISHKEK (RFE/RL) -- Opposition leaders in Kyrgyzstan are criticizing President Kurmanbek Bakiev's address to the nation, saying that he has failed to take the opposition's recommendations into consideration.

Ismail Isakov, a leader of the Zhany Kyrgyzstan (New Kyrgyzstan) party, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that Bakiev’s main goal is to strengthen his own power.

Omurbek Tekebaev, the head of the opposition Ata Meken (Fatherland) party, told RFE/RL that the purpose of the presidential address was not clear, since Bakiev only cited well-known facts.

Bakiev’s main message in his address on January 27 was his readiness to bear responsibility for the reforms currently under way.

The Kyrgyz opposition argues that Bakiev has been slow to implement reforms since taking power in 2005.