Moscow. (Professor Nur Omarov of Russo-Kyrgyz Slav University, RIA Novosti Expert Council member) - Kyrgyz opposition is organizing a huge rally, announced as indefinite, though the stocks of food and drink will last only for a few cold and wet late autumn days.
These last days before it begins are full of suspense: the March 24, 2005 revolution, almost free of violence, may be re-enacted in a far darker way and lead to unforeseeable results. Somber expectations loom as the government and the opposition are evidently unable to meet each other halfway on key issues, and each treating the other's initiatives with suspicion. As President Kurmanbek Bakiev addressed the parliament on November 30, everything he said was lost on regional elites posing in their clash as conservatives and reformers.
In the first two or three years after March 2005, Kyrgyzstan seemed doomed to become a battlefield of regional clans. That much was clear. Many hoped for high offices as the Akayev regime collapsed overnight. Thwarted hopes gave an edge to Kyrgyz developments, unfathomable as they were.
Scheduled to open on November 2, the rally may drive Kyrgyz politics into a deadlock. Personal enmity has driven recent allies to abandon their dialogue, so the peaceful rally can become the start of a massacre. Even if the worst does not come to the worst, November 2 and the days to follow certainly hold little promise of a halcyon future for the nation and its budding democracy, with mutual prejudices and unbalanced political and financial interests splitting the self-styled political elite. Whoever wins the tug-of-war will inevitably turn to violence. Short- and medium-term forecasts predict a dictatorship that would trample the emerging civil society underfoot. With a weak central government, which is quickly losing its influence, Kyrgyzstan is likely to be torn apart by mutually hostile regions. There is another option, no less ominous, of a third power gaining the upper hand: Islamist groups, with their growing impact on certain parts of the country.
A steadfast search for a way to harmonize the government's and opposition's interests in an earnest of civil peace and accord dominates the final days before the rally. Come what may, the conflicting parties must not recur to violence, which threatens innocent civilian lives.
All pragmatic Kyrgyz forces appeal to the government and opposition to give up confrontation and open a civilized dialogue to work out mutually acceptable government policies. What Kyrgyzstan needs is a constitutional reform to provide balanced distribution of rights and duties between the three branches of power, thus preventing the diktat of any. What the country has now is office appointment according to clan; what it needs is a professional managerial elite. The progressing national economy demands transparent decision-making and practical efforts not solemn words against corruption rampant at every level.
Last but not least, the conflicting parties must strike out of their programs the items that clearly cannot be met, in particular, the demand of Bakiev-Kulov tandem resignation, which rules out whatever chance of talks and compromises.
November 2 will show which road the Kyrgyz government and opposition choose to follow.