By Ria Novosti
Kyrgyzstan will mark on Saturday the 7th anniversary of the Tulip Revolution, which ousted the country’s first president Askar Akayev in 2005 over corruption, authoritarianism and nepotism.
The non-violent revolution was initially hailed by many as a promising triumph of democracy in Central Asia, but the following years have seen Kyrgyzstan backsliding toward authoritarian rule by Akayev’s successor Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Bakiyev himself was ousted in 2010 in the wake of a bloody coup that killed about 100 people.
“March 24 is one of the most memorable dates in the history of independent Kyrgyzstan,” President Almazbek Atambayev, who won a landslide victory during October 2011 elections, said in a statement.
“Seven years ago the March revolution took place, but our people failed to reap its results,” Atambayev said. “The power in the country was usurped by an anti-popular regime and the revolution has not achieved its goals.”
The president once again accused Bakiyev’s regime of corruption, nepotism and connections with the criminal underworld.
Atambayev said, though, that “sacrifices made by the people were not in vain” and Kyrgyzstan would certainly become “a prosperous and powerful state.”
March 24 was proclaimed a national holiday in 2007, although Kyrgyz opposition has been calling for its annulment ever since.