Thursday, March 24, 2005

'Stan and Deliver

The word from the streets of Bishkek, anyway, is that the Kyrgyz government has been deposed and that the ministries and state television are under opposition control, and that opposition leader and political prisoner Feliks Kulov has been released. It remains unclear, if this is indeed true, who this new government consists of.

And again, if this is true, I need to learn a lesson about spouting off things knowledgeably in the office kitchen such as "Well, it's clear that this is a premature revolution and they may just be shooting themselves in the foot and setting the movement back ten years once Akaev reasserts control." Because when your more plugged-in colleague comes in and announces the above bits of news, you look like a bit of an ass. Which is really not the look you were going for this morning.

UPDATE: Interfax is reporting that President Akaev is flying to Kazakhstan with his family. So, wow, I guess this is a done deal. I'm pretty shocked. A few days of protests, and poof, the government's gone. What's especially unique about this case, as I understand it from those more expert than me, is that the real momentum came from the rural areas of the south. Unlike your Ukraine, where the movement was spearheaded by urbanites exposed to international organizations and often NGO members themselves, reports from the streets in Bishkek say that the rallying crowds were villagers, buttressed by students and others, but villagers. It's wild. Just wild.

UPDATE II: As we saw in Georgia and in Ukraine, this mass movement was sparked by allegation of voter fraud. Let this be a warning to the producers of American Idol. The people's voices shall be heard!


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