Kyrgyz opposition rallies against rising electricity charges

By bne IntelliNews March 16, 2016

Supporters of the Kyrgyz opposition group, United Opposition Forces, held protests in Jalal-Abad and Talas Regions on March 14, according to news website 24.kg. The opposition protested against the increases in electricity tariffs, among other issues, according to a report by news website Kloop.kg.

The increases in tariffs for electricity are tied to increases in volumes of electricity imports from neighbouring countries in 2015, Kyrgyz newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek reported in February. Tariffs for the population increased from KGS0.70 (€0.009) per kWh to KGS0.77 per kWh under a limit of 700 kWh per household per month in August 2015. The authorities are planning to raise the tariffs further in April 2016. Electricity charges are a political issue in Kyrgyzstan where population relies on electricity for heating in winter as Uzbekistan limits natural gas supplies. In April 2010 popular protests against a sharp increase in electricity and other utilities charges led to the violent overthrow of the then president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

In total, the number of protesters exceeded 1,000 people, according to reports by 24.kg.  

Kyrgyzstan agreed to import as much as 500mn kWh of electricity from Tajikistan between June and September in 2015.

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