Kyrgyzstan’s newly-elected president has questioned the continuing presence of a US military base in his country. Kurmanbek Bakiyev won nearly 90 percent of the vote in yesterday’s poll described as “generally respected” by international monitors. In his first news conference, he said he would like the Americans to leave but he did not set a date. Washington used the base during the 2001 war in Afghanistan, but since then Bakiyev says the situation has changed significantly. The question of the US presence in Kyrgyzstan was raised during the last meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a group of six Central Asian states. Bakiyev made no mention of a similar Russian facility, signalling he would respect long-standing ties with Moscow. A disputed parliamentary election triggered protests in March which toppled former leader Askar Akayev. Local democracy groups say Bakiyev’s Soviet-style margin of victory reflected widespread support for Akayev’s overthrow.
Bakiyev wants US out of Kyrgyzstan