Kyrgyz interim leader has no plan for presidential election

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, April 17, 2010
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Following the exile of former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from the country, civil conflicts within the impoverished Central Asian state was somewhat alleviated. Nonetheless there are still a lot of things to do for the interim government formed one day after the riots broke out in the capital city of Bishkek on April 7.

Kyrgyz interim leader Roza Otunbayeva said Friday that she currently has made no plans for the presidential elections set to be held six months later.

"I do not know if I may take part in the presidential election, " said Otunbayeva in Bishkek during a video linkup with reporters in Washington.

She said there were more pressing issues than her political future right now, such as the stabilization of Kyrgyz situations, the elaboration of a new constitution and the definition of the presidential election formula, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency reported.

The U.S.-leased military transit center near Manas airport was also not a priority of the interim government, she added.

Earlier Friday the interim government has announced an automatic extension of the lease by one year.

Also on Friday, former President Bakiyev, who resigned and left the country for neighboring Kazakhstan Thursday under the mediation of Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States, confirmed in a televised address that he was in Kazakhstan.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for your help and care about me," Bakiyev said to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the address.

Bakiyev said it was after a telephone conversation with Nazarbayev and other Kazakh officials did he decide to leave Kyrgyzstan, the Interfax news agency reported. The plane carrying him landed in the Kazakh regional center of Taraza on Thursday at around 08:15 p.m. local time (1515 GMT).

It was currently not clear how long the deposed Kyrgyz president would stay in Kazakhstan and what destination he might leave for next.

Nazarbayev, at a news briefing in Astana on Friday, said the Kazakh authorities have facilitated the solving of the political crisis in Kyrgyzstan. He also voiced hope that the Kyrgyz interim government could stabilize the situation in the country as soon as possible.

According to the RIA Novosti news agency, Kazakh officials also denied a possible meeting between Bakiyev and Nazarbayev, saying it was not on the presidential agenda.

Last week, thousands of protesters clashed with security forces throughout the country, driving out local governments and seizing government headquarters in Bishkek. Latest figures from the Health Ministry put the death toll of the riots up to 84.

Bakiyev fled to the south and opposition parties formed an interim government led by Otunbayeva, former foreign minister.

The interim government said Bakiyev and his brothers were responsible for the unrest.

However, in the handwritten and signed letter of resignation submitted to the interim government early Friday, whose copy was posted by Kazakh news agency on its website, Bakiyev said he bore certain responsibility for the events that occurred, but all responsibility for the bloodshed of innocent people "rests with the members of the interim government, who used them for seizing power."

He also said in the letter: "On these tragic days for the Kyrgyz people, understanding all responsibility for the Kyrgyz people's future and for preserving the state's integrity and Kyrgyz statehood, I resign in line with Article 50 of the Kyrgyz Constitution."

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