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Thousands Rally to Denounce Kyrgyz Leader


Thousands of protesters rallied in Kyrgyzstan's capital of Bishkek Saturday to call for reforms promised by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

The demonstrators demanded Mr. Bakiyev limit presidential powers and give more authority to the parliament as promised during his election campaign. They also called for him to eradicate corruption and crime, or step down, as he also pledged.

The rally was noisy, but peaceful.

The former Soviet republic in central Asia has experienced continued protests and unrest since the March 2005 ouster of president Askar Akayev, the country's first post-Soviet leader.

Mr. Bakiyev won a presidential election by a landslide last July, pledging to bring order and democracy to the impoverished country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.