Later reports said Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the president, and Felix Kulov, the prime minister, turned down the resignations. The spokeswoman did not give a reason for the walk-out.

 

There are 17 ministers in total the Central Asian country's cabinet and those who remained in their posts included Kulov, the transport minister, the migration affairs minister and the culture minister, she said.

 

Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished country west of China, has been unstable since Bakiyev came to power last year after a coup toppled veteran leader Askar Akayev.

 

Bakiyev, who was popular at the time, has been deserted by his former allies who accuse his government of having links to the criminal world and of failing to bring law and order.

 

Thousands of opposition protesters taunted Bakiyev on Saturday and gave him until May 27 to meet their demands for more democracy or for him to resign.

 

Bakiyev won a presidential election by a landslide last July, pledging to bring order and democracy to the country.