Trend News commentator: Kyrgyz opposition tries again

Politics Materials 4 March 2010 19:57 (UTC +04:00)
Traditionally, spring in Kyrgyzstan begins with the attempts of the opposition to remind everyone about its existence.
Trend News commentator: Kyrgyz opposition tries again

Trend European Desk commentator Victoria Javoronkova

Traditionally, spring in Kyrgyzstan begins with the attempts of the opposition to remind everyone about its existence. Remind and then again go underground, thereby causing many rumors about the causes of its disappearance. Whether because it was tired and has lost hope of achieving anything or is saving its strength for an all-out attack.

It seems that the Tulip Revolution, which is celebrated on March 24 in Kyrgyzstan, inspires the opposition to hold protest rallies and make speeches. In 2009, Kyrgyzstan was marked with mass protests, which were planned by the opposition for March 27. Protests were held, but the exact number of their participants is still unknown: according to law enforcement agencies of the republic the protests were attended by 500-1000 people.

The opposition demanded the president's retirement. However, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has not only stayed on his post, but was re-elected, that was a great loss for the opposition.

The opposition decided not to give up and held a number of protests after the elections, which also failed. No one was serious opponent for Bakiyev because the candidates who had the best chance of winning refused to run.

However, it is yet unknown if they could make a worthy comparison to the president. By the end of the year the opposition's statements calmed down and speeches of opposition leaders practically stopped.

In October, Bakiyev restructured the government as promised but almost three months after his re-election. The structure of the executive branch of the state was changed.

The opposition and the population were dissatisfied with the reform. One of the reasons was the appointment of the president's son, Maxim Bakiyev, as head of the Central Development, Investment and Innovation Agency.

Dissatisfaction with Bakiyev Jr. was reflected in the opposition's statements. United Opposition Movement (UOM) has stated that they will not participate in the March 23 event.

Opposition members said that an alternative forum is planned for March 17, where they intend to "assess the political and economic situation in Kyrgyzstan."

The opposition's address will include several requirements.

"We demand the president to immediately rescind all the new super high tariffs and to return the strategic facilities that are passed into Maxim Bakiyev's hands. Also, we demand to stop a constitutional coup, aimed at the transfer of power from father to son," UOM leader Topchubek Turgunaliyev said.

What will the opposition achieve this time? Most likely, the result of the meeting of the opposition will be the same as before, namely: it will not lead to any changes. The only thing in on which the opposition can agree is holding new protests.

One of the reasons for the weakness of the opposition is its isolation, demonstrated repeatedly by its leaders. Temir Sariyev, presidential candidate from the opposition party of Kyrgyzstan Ak-Shumkar, decided to run independently, while the UOM decided to nominate Almazbek Atambayev as single opposition candidate.

Sariyev and Atambayev were supported by the population but Sariyev's nomination divided the votes of the opposition in two parts, which certainly affected the outcome of the elections.

Similar scenarios are likely to continue for as long as opposition leaders don't act together.

Meanwhile, sporadic attempts to defend its interests will not lead to significant changes for the population and the country.