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Kyrgyz protesters rally against president

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Kyrgyz protesters rally against president


Amid an ongoing power struggle between the president and the opposition in Kyrgyzstan, protesters have stepped up the pressure on the man they want to resign. Despite some scuffles with security forces, today’s demonstration in the capital Bishkek remained largely good-natured.

But tension is high with critics of Kurmanbek Bakiyev accusing him of trying to beef up his own powers while taking away those of parliament. “Parliament is the constitutional body,” said opposition deputy Temir Sariev. “He wants to set up super presidential rule. We are against it”

Protesters, in fact, want President Bakiyev to reduce his grip on the nation and give more power to parliament. He has made concessions – pledging to grant some TV airtime to the opposition and replacing his interior minister with a candidate liked by his opponents in the Central Asian state.

But the president’s failure to show up in parliament, as expected, to present proposed constitutional changes outraged those demanding he step down and breathed new life into demonstrations launched last week that had been dwindling. People power has already made its mark in Kyrgyzstan. Protests last year forced Bakiyev’s predecessor as president to flee.

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