Kyrgyzstan brings coup charges

The Kyrgyzstan authorities have opened a criminal case against several opposition leaders suspected of trying to stage a coup.

    The protests attracted 15,000 people when it first started

    The government on Friday published a transcript of what it said was opposition leaders plotting a coup.

    Oi-Talbek Osmonov, chief of the government security service in Bishkek, said on Saturday: "As far as I know, a criminal case has been opened by the general prosecutor against those on the recording.

    "It refers to an attempted violent seizure of power."

    Protesters in the impoverished central Asian nation have camped out in a central square demanding the resignation of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the president.

    Although their numbers have dwindled, the country's record of instability has raised fears of unrest.
       
    The demonstrators, who numbered about 1,000 early on Saturday, say Bakiyev is failing to alleviate poverty in the former Soviet state, and is ditching democratic reforms and reneging on a promise to share power with parliament.

    Compromise

    Omurbek Tekebayev, a former parliament speaker and one of the opposition movement's leaders, said that compromise could still defuse tensions.

    "Our plans are open and transparent. We have no criminal intent," he said.
       

    "Our plans are open and transparent. We have no criminal intent"

    Omurbek Tekebayev,
    opposition movement leader

    "There were words on the transcript that were never said, words like coup and revolution."

    But, he added, the opposition was still willing to compromise with Bakiyev if constitutional changes that he is due to bring before parliament on Monday offer the elected chamber more power, as it has been demanding.

    "We are impatient to see his bill. If it is consensual, that could make a big difference to the situation in the country and opens a new possibility for negotiations."

    The protests in the capital, Bishkek, the latest in a months-long row between the opposition and Bakiyev, started on Thursday and attracted about 15,000 people.

    Despite the political tensions, daily life in Bishkek has returned to normal with shops that closed on Thursday re-opening for business.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.