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Parliament Vote Saves Bishkek Kiosks From Demolition

Kiosk operators argue with police during a protest in Bishkek on March 17.
BISHKEK -- Dozens of kiosks near a major market in Bishkek have been saved from demolition after the Kyrgyz parliament voted to give them a reprieve, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The March 31 vote means the kiosks near Bishkek's Osh bazaar may stay until a new marketplace for them is set up elsewhere in the city.

Bishkek Mayor Isa Omurkulov and dozens of kiosk owners took part in the debate in parliament, while about 150 other kiosk owners and vendors from the Osh outdoor market waited outside the parliament building.

The parliament added the debate to its agenda after some 500 vendors rallied outside the government headquarters in Bishkek on March 30 protesting the mayor's decision to close the kiosk booths.

The mayor's press service told RFE/RL on March 30 that the decision to demolish the kiosks was made to regulate trade in the area near the Osh market.

The mayor's office said the kiosks, which are located near the main gates to the market, have been set up illegally and the owners do not pay city or state taxes.

Read more in Kyrgyz here