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article imageHas the political situation in Kyrgyzstan improved?

By Andrew Moran     Sep 8, 2010 in Politics
Bishkek - It has been five months since political upheaval and violence engulfed the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan. The opposition took power, Kurmanbek Bakiyev resigned and a new constitution was established. Has the situation improved?
In April, Digital Journal reported on the political chaos, the social crisis and the opposition takeover of the Kurmanbek Bakiyev government in Kyrgyzstan. Thousands of people were injured, riots engulfed the nation and the President and his family fled the country, while also looting millions of dollars from the country’s treasury.
In the months following, Bakiyev resigned, opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva became the appointed temporary leader, the international community provided Kyrgyzstan with monetary and medical aid and opposition officials established a new constitution and an election date.
Ethnic riots continue in Kyrgyzstan killing 80 wounding thousands.
Ethnic riots continue in Kyrgyzstan killing 80 wounding thousands.
Screen Shot
After all of this, has the crisis calmed down in Kyrgyzstan? Has the rule of law been established? Have members of the Bakiyev government been brought to justice? Has the ethnic violence vanished? Is the situation better in Kyrgyzstan?
Elections in doubt
Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva warned on Tuesday that upcoming Parliamentary elections could be cancelled if the politicians use the process to further increase violence in the country, according to Agence-France Presse. Otunbayeva further warned that she could implement a state of emergency.
During a speech at a political forum in the nation’s capital of Bishkek, Otunbayeva said: “(I am) concerned about the intentions and behaviour of individual parties. If it is a question of the integrity and unity of the country, we will introduce a state of emergency and the elections can be stopped.”
She further stated: “We will take very strict measures if only they will engage in bribery or violate the laws. We will not tolerate acts of violence and incitement of ethnic hatred. If necessary, we are ready to enter a state of emergency and suspend the elections.”
In July, in a nationwide referendum, Kyrgyzstan officially became a parliamentary democracy. Elections have been scheduled for Oct. 10. However, since the President has been unable to bring law and order to the country, and the politics is extremely divided, the election is in extreme uncertainty.
What is the country’s new constitution?
Roza Otunbayeva  head of Provisional Government of Kyrgyzstan.
Roza Otunbayeva, head of Provisional Government of Kyrgyzstan.
Ilias Beshimov
Kyrgyzstan's latest constitution has been a triumphant democratic step for the former Soviet state.
President Roza Otunbayeva will be in charge until the end of 2011. Parliamentary elections will be held every five years. No political party will be allowed to have more than 65 seats of the 120 Parliamentary seats. More power will be given to the Prime Minister.
Criminal cases of former officials
On Monday, the President pardoned people who committed economic crimes during the reign of former President Bakiyev, according to Ria Novosti. However, there are several terms of the deal, including paying back the money and not seeking political or administrative positions during the next five years.
The period begins from Mar. 24, 2005 to Apr. 7, 2010. The deal is valid from Monday until the end of the month.
The document states: “The decree applies to persons subject to criminal prosecution in the event that they confirm their willingness to repay the damage caused.”
President of Kyrgyzstan  Kurmanbek Bakiyev
President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Steele C. G. Britton, U.S. Air Force
What about Bakiyev? A few months ago, Bakiyev sought refuge in Belarus. Kyrgyzstan has continually requested extradition, however, Belarus has denied the requests each time. Since May, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has vehemently made it clear that he would send Bakiyev back to Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyz authorities want to prosecute Bakiyev for allegedly allowing the gunfire on the protesters in April, which killed more than 80 people.
The need for more aid
On Tuesday, the Kyrgyzstan government called upon the international community for more aid in order to rebuild its infrastructure because more than 2,000 buildings were demolished, reports CRI English.
Buildings in Bishkek
Buildings in Bishkek
Cholpon Tuzabaeva
During a press conference in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Kyrgyz Charge d'Affaires in Turkey Ramazan Dyryldaev said: “More than 2,000 buildings including schools, government buildings and radio stations were demolished (in the violence). Over 300 people died. Now we need about 21 billion U.S. dollars to recover.”
So far, the United States has pledged approximately $50 million, not to mention the USAID projects in the country, Russia has pledged all kinds of aid, including a $50 million loan to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan provided humanitarian aid and the United Nations has rushed food aid from Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan.
The UN has also appealed to the international community for $71 million in aid to Kyrgyzstan.
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