New Kygryz parliament backs Bakiyev, lower house of former parliament steps down

Monday, March 28, 2005

Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan

The newly elected and protested Kyrgyz parliament today voted to back opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev as prime minister, as the reconvening former parliament had done days before. The lower house of the former parliament also formally stepped down, although the upper house has not done so yet.

Deposed president Askar Akayev issued a statement from Russia in response, accusing the new leaders of disgracing the country and ruining the economy.

In response to the endorsement, Bakiyev issued a statement acknowledging the newly elected parliament as the legitimate one.

"I can be reproached for saying earlier that the February and March polls were not legitimate. I said so. But in this parliament we have questions to only 15 to 20 constituencies, no one is saying that all deputies have to go," Bakiyev explained.

Speaker of the outgoing lower chamber of the former parliament, Ishenbai Kadyrbekov, said that the decision was "a political, not a legislative decision, made for the sake of stabilizing the situation. ...If needed, the Legislative Assembly may convene again."

Despite the situation, Omurbek Tekebayev, newly elected speaker of the new parliament, told Kyrgyz television that Akayev was still legally the president of the country and should return, if only to complete a formal resignation. "New presidential elections can only be called after talks with Akayev, otherwise it will be another anticonstitutional move," he said.

Opposition leaders have offered Akayev immunity and said that he would not be impeached or otherwise prosecuted if he returned to the country.

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