While people were fairly tense concerning the protests that began in Bishkek yesterday, by the end of the day people in Kyrgyzstan’s capital seemed more relaxed. Tents remained on the square overnight, and people in Bishkek seem to suggest that they may stay there for some time. Edil Baisalov provides some first hand accounts of the position of the protests’ organizers on his blog.
Edil suggests that the media is portraying the protests fairly. He also notes that while there are no plans for any forced occupation of government buildings, the protest’s organizers have come to a conclusion that there is no longer room for compromise. The only result can be the resignation of Bakiyev and Kulov. Edil, however, does suggest that he feels it may be possible to negotiate with Usenov and Madumarov. Others in Bishkek have told me that many in the opposition seem disappointed that Kulov has not defected to their side as they had apparently hoped up to the last minute.
Observers have also told me that while both sides seem to be positioning themselves without options for compromise, there may be hope that this latest conflict between the government and the opposition could finally push forward the agenda of constitutional reform. For the time being, however, we will need to watch what happens in Bishkek closely in order to understand where the country is headed.
PS--see pictures of the first day of protests
below sent by an annonymous source