“This presidential election is illegitimate!”…
… stated the candidates for presidency Jenishbek Nazaraliev and Almazbek Atambaev, the latter is a candidate from opposition, during the press conference given today at 4:00 pm (where I participated).
There is a confusion among media, both local and foreign, that candidates Nazaraliev and Atambaev have withdrawn their candidacies. However, both Nazaraliev and Atambaev have several times stated that according to the law on elections, they cant withdraw their candidacies during the election day. They are just considering this election corrupt, and want it to be reheld.
Two concerts will be organized tonight by the opposition – one in front of the Social Democratic Party’s (SDPK) headquarters at 8:30 pm, the other is not far from the parliament at Gorkiy park at 10:00 pm. Atambaev says “further plans of opposition will be publicized during these concerts.”
Update (23.07.2009 at 10:05 pm): There is a big crowd in front of the Social Democratic Party’s HQ. They started gathering there at 8:00 pm, when the concert started with Kyrgyz folklore singers. Now, Almazbek Atambaev, a candidate from opposition, and Bakyt Beshimov, chairman of SDPK, and other prominent members of opposition are giving speeches calling the current government corrupt, and that presidential elections are illegitimate and should be rehold.
Opposition members say there are more than thousand people there and they will march from SPDK’s HQ to the Gorkiy park, which is not far from the White House and the Parliament. Many wonder whether or not they will face obstacles, be it police or state-sponsored provocators, on the way.
Update (23.07.2009 at 10.20 pm): It seems crowd is enlarging and ore people are joining. People are shouting ‘Bakiev ketsin!’ (Bakiev go away!), just like in March 2005 during the so-called Tulip revolution that made Bakiev come to power. Then, a crowd shouted ‘Akaev ketsin!’ (Akaev go away!). Roza Otunbaeva is giving a speech. No one from speech-givers are talking about the further steps of opposition. No talks about marching yet.
Update (23.07.2009 at 10.55 pm): I had to leave the demonstration venue. So do not really know what is happening there now. But members of internet forum Diesel say that after fireworks and statements that ‘opposition has won the presidential elections’, the crowd started dispersing, and ‘only drunk people left now’.
Update (23.07.2009 at 11:10 pm): Journalists are also talking that the crowd started dispersing, and just few people are in a demonstration place now.