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Bloggers respond to Kyrgyzstan's political turmoil

“6th Day, 11pm” by Teo Kaye. Many more photos from the recent protests can be found at his Flickr stream.

Kyrgyz opposition groups have been holding massive anti-government protests in the capital Bishkek for the past week, calling for constitutional changes and the resignation of the president. With the parliament having passed a new constitution that would reduce the powers of the president, tensions appear to be set to diminish.

Edil Baisalov, one of the protest leaders, is one of the many who have spent all week camped outside the parliament building. His livejournal (RUS) is frequently updated with news, his own opinions, and occasionally some satisfied self-reflection:

I want to go down in the history of the blogging movement. No, seriously: First blogger from a Yurt!

At the neweurasia Kyrgyzstan blog, Yulia has a more negative view of the protests. She worries that unthinking protests will turn the country into a banana republic, and isn't impressed that the opposition formed a ‘Constituent Assembly’ to rewrite the constitution:

The session started at around midnight. With no quorum and several dozens of deputies boycotting the meeting members of the opposition announced that they sighed a draft of the Constitution, that in their opinion should be adopted in Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile, there is hardly any information about any details on the content of the Constitution.

Also at neweurasia, Inga has been talking to some of the demonstrators:

It was also my impression that the protesters were hardly aware what the goals of the opposition leaders, who brought them on the streets, were. I asked one of the women-protesters from Naryn district why she was unhappy about the Constitution and which changes should be implemented. “I don’t want our lands to be sold to foreigners,”-all she was able to answer.

A new blog, Kyrgyz Report, offers ongoing analysis, including an analysis of the clusters of political forces in the country and the roots of the country's political problems. Non-Kyrgyz bloggers are also watching events closely: Sean Roberts has thoughts on the constitutional draft, media coverage within Kyrgyzstan and the changing prospects of compromise. Registan.net also has ongoing coverage, and some fascinating discussions in their comments.

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