Well, well. A district court in Bishkek ruled that Ryspek Atmakbaev can run. The Central Election Commission plans to appeal the decision if they can (good for them!) but I think Ryspek will be part of Parliament soon. [Update: The Supreme Court has upheld the decision.]
It will be interesting to hear what the law students have to say about this one. Still, it wasn't much of a surprise. Here's a report on a statement from one of Ryspek's representatives, Ismail Kochkarov:
Ryspek Akmatbaev’s representative Ismail Kochkarov gave the press conference for the media representatives on April 3, 2006 at the NA AKIpress.
After an illegal attempt made by Prime Minister Kulov to withdraw Ryspek Akmatbaev from election campaign, attempts to create negative associations with
Akmatbaev’s name are still continuing, said Mr. Kochkarov having referred to three examples when unknown young people rob people and name themselves as Ryspek Akmatbaev’s nephews. Those unknown people say that Ryspek Akmatbaev has run out of money for the election campaign and they demand money at the markets and trade points. “Diversion is on-going,” explained Mr. Kochkarov. He named the phone number to which affected individuals may call, while the public foundation to support Ryspek Akmatbaev will investigate every individual case.
Personal relations between Ryspek Akmatbaev and PM Kulov have transformed into political relations, explains Ismail Kochkarov the reason of the situation. “Both of them are politicians. One politician tries to get rid of his opponent at the political arena,” said Mr. Kochkarov.
On the whole, after the recent events Ryspek Akmatbaev received a stronger support from the people. Akmatbaev highly appreciated President Bakiev’s action to go out to protesters, said Ismailov Kochkarov.
Mr. Kochkarov also commented on information in the media on escape of 9 convicts. According to Mr. Kochkarov, those 9 convicts are recidivists that serve prison term of 20 years and over who were released immediately after cancellation of Akmatbaev’s registration. After they were released, three friends of Ryspek Akmatabev were cynically murdered. "After we submitted inquiry, the situation with their release is under investigation," said Ismail Kochkarov.
"We expect provocations. We do not exclude that provocations might transform into cynical methods. Many people tell us, there will be shooting, firing, skirmishing, etc. We call on that side to stop those things. I think that people should not suffer from ambitions of other people," said Kochkarov. To the question on Akmatbaev’s neutralization, Ismail Kochkarov replied that, in his view, such attempts would be made.
IWPR also has a story from before the court's decision about the demonstrations and Ryspek. It quotes the head of the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society:
Edil Baisalov, who heads the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, insists the authorities must get a grip and start imposing the law. He worries that there is a danger they will relent and allow Akmatbaev to register as a parliamentary candidate despite the legal problems identified with his candidature. That would be a sign of weakness, he warns.
“There can be no talk of compromise,” he warned. “The one thing that’s clear is that it’s not about Akmatbaev as a deputy or about Kulov resigning,” added Baisalov, saying the case was being “used by senior officials who just can’t wait to weaken Kulov. “But what they don’t realise is that they are playing with the destiny of the state.”
The Coalition is planning a demonstration on Saturday, the day before the election, in support of the rule of law and against organized crime. That's a demonstration I'd go to, if I were in the mood for demonstrating in Bishkek.