An opposition coalition proclaimed a new interim government today in Kyrgyzstan and said it would rule until elections are held in six months. It also urged the president, who has fled the capital, to resign. The new interim defense minister said the armed forces have joined the opposition and will not be used against protesters. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for calm and said he would immediately send an envoy to Kyrgyzstan, which he had criticized just last week for its human rights violations.
Opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva, the former foreign minister, said parliament was dissolved and she would head the interim government. She called on President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who has fled the capital to seek support in central Jalal-Abad, to resign. "His business in Kyrgyzstan is finished," she said. The takeover follows violent clashes between police and protesters that left dozens dead and have overwhelmed Bishkek's hospitals. But calm seemed to reign today in the capital, with residents nervously going about their business. There were no police on the streets.