By: David Eisenberg
Pace International Law Review, Junior Associate
Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the ousted leader of Kyrgyzstan, addressed the world on April 21st and declared that he is still the rightful leader of the nation. Mr. Bakiyev made this declaration from Belarus, the nation he fled to on April 7th following violent anti-government protests in Kyrgyzstan which left eighty-four people dead.
Proclaiming that “only death can stop me,” Mr. Bakiyev adamantly denies the validity of the resignation which the interim Kyrgyz Government claims that he gave. Furthermore, Mr. Bakiyev now refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the interim government, stating that they are nothing more than an “illegitimate gang.” Roza Otunbayeva, the interim leader of Kyrgyzstan, vehemently denies Mr. Bakiyev statements, and asserts that Mr. Bakiyev signed a formal letter of resignation before fleeing to Belarus. In addition to relinquishing his control over the country, the interim government further asserts that Mr. Bakiyev should face criminal charges in connection with corruption, nepotism, and the shooting of demonstrators involved in the uprising.
At present, Mr. Bakiyev and his family are is in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, under the protection of the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Mr. Lukashenko has pledged his full support for Mr. Bakiyev, believing that not only has Mr. Bakiyev been targeted with false accusations, but that he should also take part in the upcoming presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Lukashenko’s statements were delivered as the uprising in Kyrgyzstan continues to gain momentum.