As it tries to project its authority across fractious Kyrgyzstan, the provisional government in Bishkek is having difficulty presenting a united front.
After moving fast initially to dissolve the Constitutional Court and disband parliament, the interim government's actions now appear "uncoordinated," said Ajdar Kurtov of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) in Moscow.
As Kyrgyzstan strives to break a vicious cycle of corruption and authoritarianism, representatives of the provisional government in Bishkek insist they are committed to creating a genuinely free press, one that is capable of fulfilling a watchdog role. But for that to happen, much more than just governmental will is needed.
With marauding bands continuing to rule the night in Bishkek, and Kurmanbek Bakiyev making mischief in his southern stronghold, Kyrgyzstan's new leaders are facing the prospect of a prolonged period of strife in the Central Asian state. Some experts say they are worried that continuing disorder in the country could exacerbate long-simmering regional tension.
Roza Otunbayeva -- a former foreign minister who five years ago helped now-discredited president Kurmanbek Bakiyev gain power following the Tulip Revolution -- is leading a nascent coalition government in Bishkek. The full form of the new government was still taking shape during the early hours of April 8, amid political jockeying by various opposition figures.
Days after Kyrgyz authorities closed two more independent media outlets, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly rebuked President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's human rights record. During Ban's short visit to Bishkek, demonstrators clashed with police outside the UN office and later in front of parliament, demanding the government stop harassing the press.
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has been taking a beating in the Russian press over the last week. The burst of media attacks suggests Moscow is losing patience with what one commentator characterized as Bakiyev's "small tricks."
Orozbek's daughters are making green tea. As my eyes adjust to the darkness inside his family's yurt, the little girls fuss with plastic cauldrons of water around a small tin stove stuffed with yak dung.
"Every Kyrgyz family should have a yurt. If they don't have one, they're not Kyrgyz," says Jinak Kasmalkulov. Jinak, his mother and family friends make about six yurts a year as part of their full-time business occupying a rural Soviet-era general store in the village of Kara-Koo on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul.
The power lines strung above the dusty lanes of Alichur are nothing more than a painful reminder of simpler times. In the 18 years since the Soviet Union collapsed, the town has not seen one watt of state-supplied electricity.