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Kyrgyz parliament speaker says ousted leader has agreed to resign without returning
by Kadyr Toktogulov

The Associated Press    Translate This Article
2 April 2005

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) - Kyrgyzstan's ousted president has agreed to resign without returning to the country, the former Soviet country's parliament speaker said Saturday.

Members of a commission seeking the formal surrender of power 'have received a verbal agreement' from President Askar Akayev, who fled to Russia after his ouster March 24, that he will sign his resignation outside the country, said the parliament speaker, Omurbek Tekebayev.

Members of the commission seeking Akayev's formal surrender of power would travel to Moscow on Sunday to meet with the former president, Tekebayev said.

'Akayev has agreed to step down voluntarily and through his representatives in Bishkek conveyed his desire to meet in Moscow and to conclude all the necessary formalities in the embassy of Kyrgyzstan,' Tekebayev told Russia's state-run Channel One.

Akayev has said in media interviews that he is outside the Russian capital and is prepared to resign if given adequate security guarantees.

Opposition leaders now in power want to secure Akayev's resignation to boost their legitimacy after the forceful takeover, but have disagreed over whether Akayev must return to surrender power.

Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has warned Akayev not to return, saying it could spark new unrest and that his security could not be guaranteed, while lawmakers on the commission have said it would be preferable for him to resign before parliament, as the constitution stipulates.

Cholpon Bayekova, chairwoman of the Constitutional Court, said Saturday that Akayev's resignation could be signed outside the country as long as it is witnessed by a notary.

'It wouldn't be right to insist that Akayev return and put his life in danger,' said Bayekova, who championed Bakiyev's legitimacy as acting leader of the Central Asian nation amid the political chaos that followed Akayev's sudden demise. She also said the election would probably take place June 26 even if does not resign.

The March 24 uprising followed other upheavals in the ex-Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia, but looting and sporadic violence marred the opposition's victory. Securing Akayev's formal resignation is seen by many Kyrgyz as a necessary step to legitimize the takeover by the divided opposition and ease the uncertainty that has gripped this nation.

The uprising was fueled by long-burning resentment over alleged corruption and living standards in the impoverished nation. It was further stoked by ire over the February and March parliamentary elections, which the opposition said were rigged to fill the 75-member legislature with pro-Akayev lawmakers.

Despite Akayev's ouster, the parliament elected in that voting won a struggle for legitimacy with a more anti-Akayev former legislature, angering some who campaigned for a change.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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