Kyrgyz lawmakers refuse speaker in resignation

Kyrgyz lawmakers on Friday refused to consider the parliamentary speaker's offer to resign, submitted after he exchanged criticisms with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Only 20 lawmakers of the 52 present voted to include Omurbek Tekebayev's resignation on next week's parliamentary agenda.

Independent lawmaker Temir Sariyev said the vote reflected "the majority's opinion that discussion of the resignation will lead to further escalation of the situation in the country." Bakiyev has had tense relations with the legislature since coming to power after a March 2005 uprising.

Lawmakers have rejected several of his nominations for key government posts, and their rejection of the speaker's resignation appeared to be yet another sign of defiance against the president. Tekebayev reportedly said Bakiyev "should go hang himself if he is a man," in response to the president's criticism of lawmakers' performance during Wednesday's parliamentary session.

The speaker acknowledged making "emotional" comments that "do not correspond to the high post I occupy, and I really regret making them," according to a statement released Thursday by parliamentary media officials.

Tekebayev then told the Security Council on Thursday that he had decided to resign over the remarks. Bakiyev did not enter the meeting room until the speaker had left.

Last week, Bakiyev strongly criticized lawmakers for allegedly hindering his government's work, and said Parliament "has turned into a place of squabbling, tension and instability." Kyrgyzstan has been politically unstable since a March 2005 uprising that ousted former President Askar Akayev. Bakiyev has since ruled the ex-Soviet republic in Central Asia , reports the AP.

N.U.

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