A new day has begun in Kyrgyzstan after 24 hours of uproar which saw a regional demonstration mushroom into revolt in the capital, Bishkek, the deaths of at least 65 people, and the flight of the president to the country’s second city.
The opposition says it has taken over the government, with former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva at its head. She has demanded the resignation of President Bakiyev, and says she will run an interim administration for six months, drafting a new constitution before fresh elections.
The protests have been sparked by a general discontent over corruption, a lack of jobs and rising prices in a country where a third of the 5.3 million population lives below the poverty line.
“Both the National Security Service and the Interior Ministry – all of them are already under the management of new people. We had to take control here because the question of security is a question of top priority,” said Otunbayeva.
Security clearly broke down yesterday. Through the night gunfire could be heard in Bishkek as people looted and burned the prosecutor’s offices and a home belonging to the Bakiyev family.
The president has taken refuge in Osh, in his native south. He has made no public statements since the protests began, and its unclear if the security services will continue to support him.
400 people were also injured in the clashes, and for many it is all the fault of the fallen government.
“First it was the Akayev regime, now it is the Bakiyev regime. People are unhappy. Look around here, young people, we are all poor, no jobs. They are shooting at people, you can see for yourselves. After this, I think there will be blood for blood,” said one protestor.
Hospitals have been filling with the dead and wounded, with some opposition sources saying over 100 have died, and the corridors have been filling with anger spilling in from the streets.