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Protesters Allege Russian Meddling In Kyrgyz Politics

A Kyrgyz polling station being prepared ahead of that country's October 10 voting.
BISHKEK -- About a dozen activists have picketed the Russian Embassy in Bishkek to protest what they termed Russian meddling in Kyrgyz domestic politics, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The protesters held placards saying: "We Are Not a Russian Federation subject!" and, referring to the Russian prime minister, "Putin, Hands off Kyrgyzstan!" The organizers complained that Russia is increasingly interfering in Kyrgyz politics.

One day earlier, on October 19, dozens of people in the southern town of Batken voiced their concern over visits to Moscow by Kyrgyz political leaders both before and after the October 10 parliamentary elections.

Social Democratic Party leader Almazbek Atambaev, Ar-Namys (Dignity) party leader Feliks Kulov, Respublika (Republic) leader Omurbek Babanov, and Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party Co-Chairman Myktybek Abdyldaev visited Moscow last week to meet top Russian officials.

All four of the parties along with Ata-Meken (Fatherland) won more than the minimum 5 percent of all eligible voters needed to secure parliamentary representation. The various party leaders have been meeting to discuss the formation of a coalition government.