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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kyrgystan

The traditional fourty days of morning after the April 6/7 deaths is not yet complete, and violence has not entirely been quelled in Kyrgyzstan, see this and this .  Our visit a few weeks ago, came during a lull.  Today's news indicates that Roza Otunbayeva, formerly head of the interim government, has now been appointed by that government as President until the end of December 2011.  See, this and this.  Apparently, the June 2010 referendum on a new constitution and on this appointment will go forward while the previsouly promised October 2010 elections are now on hold.  Apparently, also, Otunabyeva cannot be a member of a political party while in her new position and may not run for election as president in the December 2011 election.

Like a lot of things in this region, we will see what happens when it happens.  Meanwhile, ethnic tensions between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks are being stirred up and clan distrust is being exploited by the ex-president.

I thought that Roza Otunbayeva was strong, decisive, and capable when our group met her a few weeks ago.  If she meant what she told us, then I wish her and her compatriots well.  The question remains whether she can succeed in the games of brinksmanship currently swirling around her.


A makeshift memorial to those killed in early April in Bishkek.






Mr. Wonderful standing by a bullet
scarred wall-fence at the presidential
palace in Bishkek.

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