Kyrgyzstan's parliament has voted for the second time against reinstating an ally of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the Kyrgyz president, as prime minister.
Bakiyev has been trying to reappoint Felix Kulov after he resigned from the government last month during changes that were originally aimed at weakening the presidency and strengthening parliament.
Although Bakiyev appears to have won in his battle with opposition legislators over the constitution, having signed away far fewer powers than the opposition wanted, he has so far been blocked in attempts to reinstate Kulov.
The former Soviet republic near Afghanistan has lurched through a series of political crises since Askar Akayev, the former president, fled violent protests in March 2005.
Parliament voted 38 to 25 against reinstating Kulov, little changed from the 39 to 23 vote rejecting him a week ago.
Due to confusion over the country's constitution - a new charter weakening Bakiyev was adopted last month and then another one handing back most of his powers - it is not clear how long the deadlock might last.
The constitution appears to allow Bakiyev to dissolve parliament if his candidate for prime minister is rejected three times.
But lawyers working for parliament, Bakiyev's office and an opposition leader have all said that under interim rules Bakiyev can nominate Kulov as many times as he likes.