DOES three make a trend? Kirgizstan has become the third post-Soviet republic in which disgruntled voters, unwilling to accept a fraudulent election, have taken matters into their own hands. On Thursday March 24th, Askar Akaev, president of the Central Asian republic for 15 years, was forced to flee the capital, Bishkek, after protesters took the government headquarters. A new government has been proclaimed, and now Kirgizstan’s “tulip revolution” joins Georgia’s “rose revolution” and Ukraine’s orange one. But Kirgizstan’s uprising has been more chaotic and violent than those other two, and unlike them it has no single leader. The future for the remote republic is clouded.
On Thursday, protests which had begun in the south of the country a few days earlier reached Bishkek, in the north. Demonstrators stormed the “White House”, the government headquarters, making their way past riot police who either melted away or joined the protesters. Mr Akaev was soon nowhere to be seen, and protestors and looters ransacked the building.
Tuesday, March 29
Wake Up America!
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