Police in the Central Asian state of Kzrgyzstan have broken up two rallies and detained dozens of opposition supporters protesting the outcome of last week’s presidential election.
The demonstrators claim the election was rigged and marched through the capital Bishkek before they were rounded up. Kyrgyystan is important to both East and West.The US has a big airbase near Bishkek supporting its operations in Afghanistan and Russia wants to set up a military base in the south. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev offically won with seventy-six per cent of the vote. The opposition challenger Almazbek Atambayev got eight per cent. The opposition says it plans to stage more protests across the country ahead of an informal summit due to take place on Friday attended by the Russian president Dimitri Medvedev. Opposition supporters claim the election result was a fraud – backed up by amateur video pictures which appear to show ballot boxes being stuffed with voting slips for the ruling president. The Central Election Commission has launched an enquiry into the matter.