Friday, November 03, 2006

Kyrgyz "Maydan," the Sequel (Part 3) – Day One

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

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is too bad that the opposition and Baikev seem not able to compromise. The real sad thing though is that neither group speaks with their constituents in mind or seems to care about them. Too many politicians speak for only what they want- power. The fact is that most of the parliamentarians do not even live in or visit their constituencies on a regular basis and several have not even lived in the constituncies in which they represent for over a decade. The elite on both sides is out of touch with what Kyrgyz people want 1) stability 2)economic development and 3)improved social services. All politicians seem to care about is getting more power so they can accumulate more assets.

Constitutional reform does need to go forward, but at the same time, it cannot be done over night. More constitutional experts need to be involved in developing any prospective new draft. Too many of the drafts have been written by people who do not have the skill or expertise for the job and therefore cannot be taken seriously. The idea that a constitutional draft can be written and agreed on in 1 day is not wise for either side.

Lastly, as politicians constituency bases have eroded it should be mentioned that so to have the constituency bases of NGOs. Some leaders at times forget who they represent and are speaking from their personal positions and with their own ambitions in mind and not for their constituents. This is undermining much of the good that has been done in civil society over the last few years and I ask all civil society representatives to rededicate themselves to their constituents.

In the future in order to create a more sustainable environment for government and civil society to work together and create a more stable democracy much needs to be done to create mutual ownership in catalyzing reforms and changes in policy and this will only be accomplished through focusing on fulfilling their constituents' needs and putting personal goals aside. Cross sectoral cooperation will help lay the groundwork for returning Kyrgyzstan to its rightful place as an emerging democracy and help recreate the unity and pride that has disappeared since the Tulip revolution.

5:55 AM  

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