International brief ~ Kyrgyz upper house dissolves, Akayev in Moscow
D. Wes Rist at 1:34 PM ET
[JURIST] In Tuesday's international brief, the upper house of the Kyrgyzstan [DC Embassy website] pre-election parliament has agreed to dissolve itself in order to allow government officials and OSCE experts a chance to resolve the nation's current constitutional crisis before violence returns to the tiny Central Asian nation, while ousted President Askar Akayev [official profile] revealed his presence in Moscow. The parliament's announcement comes one day after the lower house agreed to suspend all governmental operations [JURIST report] until a legitimate parliament is selected. Interim President Kurmanbek Bakiev praised the decision as one that would allow calm to return to the nation. Meanwhile, Akayev contested the Bakiev's promise of new national elections, saying from Moscow that he had not resigned and was still the legitimate leader of Kyrgyz. Electionworld.org has a backgrounder on Kyrgyzstan. Radio Free Europe has more on parliament's dissolution. MosNews has more on Akayev's announcement.
In other international legal news ...
- Lord Paddy Ashdown [official profile], the EU High Representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina [official website] announced Tuesday that he was dismissing one of the three joint presidents for the Bosnia-Herzegovina Federation [government website]. Ashdown announced that Croat President Dragan Covic [official profile] was being removed under Ashdown's powers granted as implementer of the Dayton Accords [text] after charges were filed by prosecutors on counts of customs evasion, corruption, and abuse of power. Ashdown had called for Covic to step down voluntarily with both EU and US support, but Covic refused, alleging that Ashdown was favoring other groups of Bosnia-Herzegovina above Croats. Covic has said he will not step down unless he is found guilty at trial. Read the official transcript of the press briefing announcing Covic's removal. BBC News has more.
- The Federation of Nepalese Journalists [official website] celebrated its golden jubilee Tuesday by holding a 500-member protest in the streets of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. The members of the journalistic organization were joined by teachers and human rights activists as they marched through city streets, demaning a return to the pre-February 1 status of Nepal, and calling on the King to return the right of free press and democratic institutions that have been suspended under the declaration of a state of emergency [JURIST report]. Journalists are continuing to operate in Nepal, but have to do so under strict guidelines imposed by the state. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST Country news archive]. Kantipur Online has local coverage.
- The only major opposition party in Zimbabwe [government website], the Movement for Democratic Change [official website], announced Tuesday that the police have refused to investigate the murder of an MDC activist last Thursday that allegedly was committed by ruling party Zanu PF [official website] militants. MDC and several international rights organizations have pointed to the Zimbabwe government's continuing oppression and persecution of opposition party members [JURIST report] as evidence that Zimbabwe's elections scheduled for Thursday are already unfair. Official election observers from South Africa announced at the same time that they had observed no indicators that Thursday's election would be anything but "free and fair" and that all was peaceful in Zimbabwe. The activists, Givemore Sunday, is scheduled to be buried late Tuesday. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST Country news archive]. Zim Online has local coverage.
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