Ousted Kyrgyz leader resigns

Kyrgyzstan's deposed president Askar Akayev has tendered his resignation at his country's embassy in Moscow in the presence of members of the Central Asian state's parliament.

    Akayev had been president since independence in 1991

    Akayev fled into exile in Russia last week after ruling his impoverished country for 14 years. Many Kyrgyz see his formal resignation as key to ensuring full legimitacy for new elections provisionally scheduled for June.
       
    Four-point document

    Akayev signed documents on four points, he said. "One of these is that the president of the Kyrgyz Republic announces his early resignation," Akayev said at a brief news conference. "It has been decided to hold the actual ceremony of early resignation tomorrow."
       
    International mediators had pressured acting leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev to allow Akayev to return to Kyrgyzstan and play a role in negotiating a political settlement after he was ousted in protests prompted by flawed parliamentary elections. 
       

    "The president of the Kyrgyz Republic announces his early resignation"

    Askar Akayev, announcing his resignation

    But Bakiyev declined Akayev's requests to return, saying the new government would not be able to guarantee the ex-president's security.
       
    Parliamentary Speaker Omurbek Tekebayev said on Saturday that Akayev had indicated he would be prepared to sign the resignation papers, a step which is required by law in order for new elections to be held.
       
    Ending political crisis

    Tekebayev led the delegation which arrived in Moscow on Sunday and negotiated Akayev's signature.

    The crisis was sparked by the storming of the presidential administration building, the culmination of weeks of protests sparked by parliamentary elections that Akayev's opponents alleged were manipulated to give him a compliant legislature.

    The protesters apparently had not initially intended to storm the building, but did so after a clash with Akayev supporters.
     
    The unexpected turn of events left Kyrgyzstan in a state of political chaos, with two rival parliaments competing for legitimacy. The tensions were aggravated by two nights of looting and gunfire in the capital, in which at least three people were killed.

    Akayev, who fled to Russia, refused to recognize the man approved by both parliaments as interim president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, saying he recognized only Tekebayev as a legitimate political leader. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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