Kyrgyzstan slams Russia over 'Afghanization' fears

27th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Kyrgyzstan's government Sunday hailed a robust turnout in a constitutional referendum and slammed doubters including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who warned the country risks breaking up.

The interim government's deputy leader Omurbek Tekebayev said foreign intelligence services were spreading the view that the parliamentary democracy envisioned in the referendum was incompatible with Kyrgyzstan.

"Some top officials from different states have spoken about a possible Afghanization of Kyrgyzstan, about a break-up of the state. I mean the statements by President Dmitry Medvedev and others," Tekebayev said.

"It is possible they have been disinformed, that they are blindly believing the officials from their special services who have long been at the service of the local oligarchs."

He also attacked "well known political analysts and academics" for doubting that a "democratic state can be built in the country".

"I think such doubts are unfounded. They are even insulting," he added.

His comments were one of the strongest attacks yet by a Kyrgyz official against Medvedev, who said at a news conference in Washington last week that "things could degenerate in Kyrgyzstan, it could even split up".

Top Western observers, including Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, have also expressed grave reservations about the holding of the referendum so soon after this month's deadly ethnic clashes.

Tekebayev hailed early turnout figures of over 26 percent in Sunday's referendum as "unprecedented".

"It rejects the myth that Kyrgyzstan is collapsing, that there is a civil war," he said.

The official death toll from the clashes between minority Uzbeks and majority Kyrgyz stands at to 275 but officials have said the real figure could have been as high as 2,000.

© 2010 AFP

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