Dilip Hiro, author of Inside Central Asia, provides some insight on the current crisis in Kyrgyzstan in The Guardian: "The return of Viktor Yanukovich as the duly elected president of Ukraine in February seemed to mark a reversal of the colour revolutions that started with Georgia's rose revolution in November 2003 and ended with Kyrgyzstan's tulip revolution in March 2005. Following a rigged election, Yanukovich was deposed by peaceful demonstrations in Kiev in the country's orange revolution in December 2004.
After the successful tulip revolution in the mountainous central Asia republic of Kyrgyzstan, which resulted in the flight of President Askar Akayev, the opposition leader, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, promised to curtail presidential powers and eradicate corruption and nepotism. He won 89% of the ballots in an election with a voter turnout of 53%, a refreshingly true figure.
But once in office Bakiyev reneged. The long-running tug-of-war between the parliament and president on the division of power resumed. By introducing a new electoral law and founding his own party, Ak Zhol (bright path), he gained control of the legislature in the 2007 parliamentary poll. Despite his enhanced powers, Bakiyev failed to tackle the rise of the black economy, persistent corruption, and the general weakness of the economy. It was estimated that as much as 52% of the Kyrgyz economy was black or related to smuggling. Another problem was the growing influence of organised crime related mainly to the smuggling of drugs from Afghanistan via Tajikistan on their way to Russia and beyond.
Having failed to learn a lesson from the past, Bakiyev and his close aides resorted to fraud in the presidential poll in July 2009. Protesting against widespread malpractice on polling day, the leading opposition challenger, Almazbek Atambayev, withdrew his candidacy. This dashed any lingering prospect that this small republic of 5 million people would turn into a beacon of democracy in central Asia.
Armed with a fresh mandate, Bakiyev intensified his persecution of opposition leaders and independent journalists with a series of arrests and physical assaults by government agents, who authorities described as "criminals" but failed to apprehend. The long-simmering popular disaffection began crystallising around the steep rise in fuel and water and gas charges that the Bakiyev government decreed. This provided a platform on which the fractious opposition groups could unite. They did. The condemnation of Bakiyev's curtailing of democratic rights by the visiting United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, on 3 April led to the united opposition to name 7 April as the day of national protest.
To the surprise of opposition figures and the authorities, the protest escalated into a national uprising, with demonstrators occupying official buildings and state-run TV stations all over the country, including the capital, Bishkek. The bloody reprisals by the security forces left between 40 and 100 people dead. Bakiyev took off in his presidential plane to an unknown destination.
Roza Utunbayeva, the opposition heavyweight, claimed that the government had fallen and that the interim authority she planned to lead would draft a new constitution and call a fresh presidential election. Other reports said that opposition leaders were to meet the prime minister, Daniyar Usenov, to resolve the crisis. However, Bakiyev's fate is sealed. He is set to follow Akayev into exile, signalling the beginning of the tulip revolution, mark II."