Tuesday 22 February 2005
February 22, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Protests Erupt Over Barring Of Opposition Candidates From Election
Demonstrations have erupted across Kyrgyzstan today, just days ahead of the 27 February parliamentary elections. The protests -- in at least three of the country’s seven oblasts -- are the most widespread in the run-up to the vote so far and are in response to the exclusion of some opposition candidates from poll.
February 22, 2005
Opposition Rallies Spread Across Kyrgyzstan
Protesters at a 19 February rally (file photo) 22 February 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Demonstrators at several rallies across Kyrgyzstan today are calling on authorities to allow opposition leaders to take part in the country's 27 February parliamentary elections.
February 21, 2005
Protesters Rally For Kyrgyz Newspaper
Protesters claim the government is trying to muzzle the media ahead of elections Bishkek, 21 February 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Scores of activists rallied today outside the Kyrgyz government building demanding an end to what they called persecution against an independent newspaper.
February 19, 2005
Kyrgyz President Warns Against Potential Uprising
Kyrgyz President Akaev (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo) Bishkek, 19 February 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev today reiterated his warning that there can be no room for a Ukrainian- or Georgian-style revolution in his Central Asian country.
February 17, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Women Say Their Opportunities Are Shrinking Ahead Of Polls
Observers say women in Kyrgyzstan have traditionally enjoyed more freedom than those in neighboring Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. Post-Soviet independence brought them even more rights and opportunities. Although ordinary Kyrgyz are still reluctant to see a woman rise to prominence in either politics or business, Kyrgyzstan is the first post-independence Central Asian state to have appointed a woman as a foreign minister and ambassador. But recent amendments to the country's electoral law means women may have little chance of being elected in this month's parliamentary ballot.
February 15, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Is Bishkek Moving Toward Russia Ahead Of Elections?
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov said yesterday that U.S. AWACS reconnaissance planes will not be deployed at the Ganci air base outside the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. Aitmatov made the statement after a trip to Moscow. Some observers say the Kyrgyz government's decision was made to please Russia, with the aim of gaining the Kremlin's support ahead of 27 February parliamentary elections and the presidential election in October.
February 11, 2005
Central Asia: New Report Warns Of Social Cost Of Region's Reliance On Cotton
For decades, cotton production has been the main economic activity in Uzbekistan -- and, to a lesser extent, in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. But the sharp decline in world prices for raw cotton fiber is now posing a considerable economic challenge for the Central Asian states. The International Crisis Group, a nongovernmental organization focused on conflict prevention, warns in a new report that continued reliance on cotton will pose social, political, and environmental risks in the region. The report says cotton economies lead to forced labor, environmental waste, and the potential for social unrest.
February 09, 2005
Analysis: The Fog Of Information War
Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev As Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan prepare for parliamentary elections on 27 February, information wars are heating up in both countries. The basic ammunition is the word, but battles go far beyond dueling declarations to include struggles for control over the means of generating and disseminating information. Tough tactics are the order of the day, with opposition newspapers facing legal travails, duplicate organizations springing up to sow confusion, and dubious leaks poisoning the atmosphere. But the real victim is the political process itself, which can easily lose its way in the fog of information war.
February 09, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Hizb Ut-Tahrir Rallies In South, Urges Election Boycott
Relatives of Hizb ut-Tahrir member Ulugbek Ruziev and other members of that banned religious organization have been protesting this week in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, demanding that Ruziev -- who was arrested for possessing leaflets calling for a boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections -- be released. Members of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir religious organization say they will not vote in the 27 February parliamentary elections.
February 08, 2005
Central Asia: Opposition Groups Seek Strength In Unity
Ak Zhol (Bright Way) was the only opposition party to win a seat in parliament in September's elections in Kazakhstan. The poll was widely criticized as rigged, yet the results failed to generate much of a public outcry. In an effort to increase their chances in future elections, three opposition parties the following month founded the Coordinating Council of Democratic Forces of Kazakhstan. Some opposition parties have also come together in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which will both hold parliamentary elections later this month.