Kyrgyzstan's hope for better days ahead

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Kyrgyzstan's hope for better days ahead

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As the clean-up continues in Kyrgyzstan, debate rages about the reasons behind the people’s revolution. Like in so many cases where governments are overthrown, the economic situation is under the spotlight.

Poor neighbourhoods complain that they never saw the results of promises made by President Bakiyev when he himself was brought to power in a people’s revolt five years ago.

“The government should not be like a family business,” said one resident. “There should be one person thinking about his people.”

Many people say Bakiyev was more concerned about giving top jobs to his family and friends than sorting out a viable economic plan.

The precarious situation for many in the former soviet nation was also made worse by the global financial crisis.

One farmer said: “I want peace and jobs in Kyrgyzstan. As it is today, there are no jobs for graduates. They are moving to Kazakhstan and Russia.”

Meanwhile, the US has welcomed statements from Kyrgyzstan’s interim government that it will abide by agreements covering a US air base that supports military operations in Afghanistan.

Washington has refused to comment on speculation that Moscow, which is against the US military presence in Kyrgyzstan, may have had a hand in ousting Bakiyev. Russia denies any involvement, despite essentially recognising the interim government and its previous strong criticism of Bakiyev.

When he was in power Bakiyev said he would evict the US from his country after receiving a Russian promise of a large financial aid package. He later made a u-turn, however, and agreed to keep the base open at a higher price. Washington can only hope the arrangement does not change under Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders.