Kyrgyz president accuses parliament of squabbling

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on Friday accused parliament of hindering the work of his administration and wasting time squabbling instead of passing laws. "People ask me why does parliament hinder the work of the president and prime minister?" Bakiyev told parliament. "I find the confrontational approach to authorities of a small part of parliament ... strange."

Bakiyev said the parliament, which is known by its Kyrgyz name Jogorku Kenesh or Supreme Assembly, "has turned into a place of squabbling, tension and instability." The criticism follows a falling out last week between Bakiyev and lawmakers over the arrest of a senior security service official on suspicion of murder. Lawmakers demanded that the security chief be dismissed. Bakiyev rejected the call.

Kyrgyzstan has been unstable since Bakiyev came to power during a March uprising last year, with his rule undermined by high-profile killings, including those of three lawmakers, and protests that have raised concerns about deteriorating public security.

"Since when can parliament interfere in criminal cases that are still under investigation?" Bakiyev said, referring to last week's security scandal, which prompted a parliamentary probe of the work of law-enforcement agencies.

"Are you trying to seize power?" he said. "We by ourselves will decide what to do with those who break the law." Bakiyev has since the outset had a tense relationship with parliament, which rejected several of his nominees for key government posts.

"You return every fifth bill with objections. Since April, you've been sabotaging the government privatization program. It's February, but no budget has been adopted," Bakiyev said. Bakiyev also accused lawmakers of trying to inflate their own wages, saying he would not sign the bill.

"In any democratic country, such bills are followed by the immediate dissolution of parliament," Bakiyev warned, reports the AP.


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