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Kyrgyzstan marking 5 years since revolution that ousted President Bakiyev

April 07, 2015, 8:26 UTC+3 BISHKEK

April 7, 2010 is the day marking the start of Kyrgyzstan’s rejuvenation, President Atambayev said recently, adding that it opened up the road to free and democratic elections

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© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

BISHKEK, April 7. /TASS/. Kyrgyzstan is marking the fifth anniversary of a popular revolution that toppled the administration of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and changed the political system in this landlocked Central Asian former Soviet republic.

"President Almazbek Atambayev will take part in a gala function on Ala Too Square in Bishkek that will honor the people who died during those tragic events," Almaz Usenov, the chief of the Kyrgyzstani government’s information policy department told TASS.

"Then the ceremonies involving the President will continue on the Ata Beyit memorial compound where those who gave their lives for the revolution are buried," he said.

On April 7, 2010, from 15,000 to 35,000 supporters of the then Kyrgyzstani political opposition gathered on Bishkek’s central square to demand the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, whom they accused of usurpation of power, the establishing of rule based on nepotism and clans, corruption and purges of dissenters.

A part of the protesters were armed already when they came to the spot. They seized weapons several hours before arriving at the central square when clashes occurred in the east of the city with units of the special assignment forces reporting to the State Committee for National Security and the Interior Ministry.

By that time, opposition forces had already gained control of the bulk of towns and villages in the northern part of the country and disturbances had broken out in some places in the south of the country.

Although Bakiyev ordered the troops guarding the government residence to open fire for effect at the crowds of protesters, he was unable to keep state power in his hands. He had to flee Bishkek and then Kyrgyzstan, making the Belarusian capital Minsk his home later on.

About nine opposition activists were killed during the storming of the government residence in Bishkek and several hundred others were injured. In spite of the heavy losses, the opposition managed to gain control of the capital city by nighttime on April 7, 2010.

These events brought about a major transformation of the country’s political system. Changes were made in the Constitution to boost the powers of parliament and restrict those of the President.

Truly democratic elections on party tickets were held half a year after Bakiyev’s ousting but a party consisting of the former President’s supporters unexpectedly emerged victorious from them. A parliamentary majority coalition was formed for the first time in Kyrgyzstan’s history.

The coalition received the right to nominate the Prime Minister and to form the cabinet. In addition, a legislative amendment forbidding election to the office of the President for more than one term was passed.

"April 7, 2010 is the day marking the start of Kyrgyzstan’s rejuvenation," President Atambayev said recently. "It opened up the road to free and democratic elections. We launched an unprecedented struggle with corruption and began to take measures towards ensuring our independence in the energy sector and transport and guaranteeing our foodstuff security."

"We’re implementing a military reform and the government has turned its face to the problems of rank-and-file citizens," he said.

Atambayev voiced his firm conviction that the authorities and society in Kyrgyzstan should draw conclusions appropriate conclusions from the events that unfolded five years ago.

"State power can be efficient only if it relies on the support of ordinary people and its true strength stems from people’s trust," he said. "As for the people, they should take a more responsible stance on the election of members of parliament and the President."

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