Through their actions, the people of Kyrgyzstan have created the opportunity for a democratic and stable future. A week ago, protestors drove authoritarian President Askar Akeyev from office.
Most of Kyrgyzstan's major political leaders have recognized the authority of the newly elected legislature. After being seated, the new parliament named opposition leader Kumanbek Bakiyev as prime minister. In the interest of stability, most opposition members have decided to support judicial review of the claims of election fraud in the recent parliamentary vote.
The interim government in Kyrgyzstan has announced that a presidential election will be held on June 26th. Led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, other nations are helping the interim Kyrgyz government organize the elections with the goal of ensuring that they are free and fair. U.S. State Department Deputy spokesman Adam Ereli had this comment:
"With regard to Kyrgyzstan, from the very beginning what we've said we want to see is a process whereby the will of the people is heard and respected and followed, and that that process take place without violence, according to the rule of law and through Kyrgyz institutions."
The unrest in Kyrgyzstan began in February before the first round of parliamentary voting. The protests intensified after the March 13th run-off elections, which the opposition claimed were seriously flawed. Demonstrations rapidly spread throughout the country and became violent in some cases. The protests culminated with the storming of government buildings in Bishkek, the capital. Two nights of looting followed President Akayev's departure.
The Kyrgyz people have a desire for freedom and democracy, as do people around the world. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. is "trying to help to promote a process [in Kyrgyzstan] that will turn the developments...on the ground into a democratic process that can get for the Kyrgyz people...a stable government and a move toward a better democratic future."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.