Kyrgyz Opposition to Rule for Six Months

What a difference a day makes: A transitional government has taken control of Kyrgyzstan after clashes between the government and protesters on Wednesday left 68 people dead and 400 wounded, The New York Times reports. The sitting president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has reportedly fled from the capital of Bishkek to the south of the country to marshal support. Roza Otunbayeva, a foreign former minister who is heading the coalition of opposition groups, has said that parliament had been dissolved and that an interim government had taken over and would stay in power for six months. As for the U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan, which is an important link in the chain supplying troops in Afghanistan, Otunbayeva said that the "status quo will remain in place" although the new government still has some questions. A spike in energy bills, Bakiyev's failure to improve conditions of the ordinary people, and the belief that his government was corrupt and repressive touched off the protests.