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About 2,000 supporters of the United Front and the For Reforms movement have begun a protest rally outside the Kyrgyz parliament building
About 2,000 supporters of the United Front and the For Reforms movement have begun a protest rally outside the Kyrgyz parliament building, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Monday. The parliament building has been cordoned off by riot police. Protesters began arriving at the central square of the Kyrgyz capital last Thursday to support opposition demands for the president's resignation and early elections in the impoverished nation. "We want to urge people's deputies to fulfill the will of their electors and start constitutional reform," former parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebayev said previously. The radical United Front opposition, led by former Premier Felix Kulov, said earlier it expected to gather 50,000 supporters for open-ended protests on Ala-Too square near the government building. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who came to power in an alliance with Kulov as a result of a violent uprising in 2005, signed fresh constitutional amendments Tuesday consenting to cut back his powers in an apparently futile attempt to prevent a further escalation of the situation. The Kulov-led opposition accuses the president of failing to improve living standards, curb corruption and introduce democracy in the Central Asian republic. Kulov also argues that part of the votes that brought Bakiyev to presidency belonged to him, which, he said, put in doubt the legitimacy of the president's office. The United Front has been joined by the more liberal opposition movement For Reforms, which unites 20 parties and non-governmental organizations. Kyrgyzstan's Deputy Interior Minister Temirkan Subanov said that about 4,000 law enforcement officers had been summoned to provide security during the protests.
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