Friday 14 January 2005
January 12, 2005
South Asia: Central Asians Join World Aid Effort To Tsunami-Struck Region
Tsunami-ravaged Aceh in Indonesia The United Nations has asked donor nations to contribute nearly $1 billion by the end of the month to address the immediate needs of victims of the South Asian tsunami disaster. The world body says it has already secured concrete commitments for about two-thirds of that amount. Meanwhile, relief supplies continue to arrive in the region. As RFE/RL reports, Central Asian nations, including war-ravaged Afghanistan, have joined the international effort to raise funds and provide humanitarian aid to the affected areas.
January 10, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Demonstrators Hold Third Day Of Protests
Protesters in Bishkek Around 200 demonstrators held a third day of protests in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, demanding free and fair elections and an end to President Askar Akaev's rule. Officials may fear a "Ukrainian-style" revolution ahead of next month's parliamentary vote.
January 09, 2005
Kyrgyz Opposition Stages Rally
Participants in today's rally called for fair elections Bishkek, 9 January 2005 (RFE/RL) -- About 100 protesters staged a protest rally in the Kyrgyz capital today, demanding that electoral authorities allow ex-ambassadors and opposition leaders to participate in upcoming parliamentary elections.
January 07, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Opposition Leader Claims Political Motivation Behind Rejection Of Her Election Registration
Electoral authorities in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, have rejected the registration of former foreign minister and current opposition leader Roza Otunbaeva as a candidate in February's parliamentary elections. The registration forms for Otunbaeva, a leader of the Ata Zhurt (Fatherland) opposition movement, were initially accepted yesterday. Later, however, district election officials in Bishkek withdrew her registration. Opposition members say the decision appears to be politically motivated.
January 05, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Fragmented Opposition Up Against Entrenched Interests (Part 2)
President Akaev (file photo) Following the recent peaceful political transitions in Georgia and Ukraine, the idea of a "Velvet Revolution" occurring in Kyrgyzstan is being widely discussed ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections. Even President Askar Akaev has voiced concern over attempts by what he calls "some Western forces" to establish a new government in Bishkek. Opposition leaders in Kyrgyzstan say their main goal is simply to prevent election fraud, while the country's students appear ready for genuine change. In the second and final part of a look at Kyrgyzstan's upcoming polls, RFE/RL examines the political forces at work in the country.
January 04, 2005
Kyrgyz Elections (Part 1): Can Kulov Unite The Opposition From Behind Bars?
Kyrgyzstan is holding parliamentary and presidential elections this year, and the stakes are high. Incumbent President Askar Akaev has repeatedly said he intends to step down in October after the end of his second term, as required, meaning Kyrgyzstan might become the first Central Asian nation to see a change in power through a popular vote since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The opposition is aiming to obtain a majority in parliament in February in the hopes that such a showing will influence the outcome of the presidential race in October. In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Feliks Kulov, the imprisoned founder of Kyrgyzstan's leading opposition party, Ar-Namys (Dignity), discussed efforts to unite the opposition ahead of the polls. (This is the first of a two-part series on Kyrgyzstan's elections. In Part 2, we'll take a closer look at the platforms of both pro-government and opposition political parties who are competing for seats in February's parliamentary polls.)
December 21, 2004
Russia: Freedom House Downgrades Country To 'Not Free' Status
A U.S.-based organization that tracks the progress of political rights and civil liberties across the world says Russia has fallen to the status of "not free." Freedom House points to a growing trend under President Vladimir Putin to "concentrate political authorities, harass and intimidate the media, and politicize the country's law-enforcement system." Elsewhere, Belarus, Armenia, and Romania also saw setbacks, while the organization found encouraging democratic gains in Georgia and Ukraine. Turkmenistan rated among the most repressive countries.