Speaker of Kyrgyzstan's parliament steps down

Kyrgyzstan's Parliament speaker stepped down Monday after telling the president to go hang himself during a high-profile row between the legislature and leader over whether security forces were involved in a slaying.

Speaker Omurbek Tekebayev originally submitted his resignation on Feb. 10 after he responded to President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's criticism of Parliament by saying he "should go hang himself if he is a man."

Parliament rejected Tekebayev's initial resignation, but he resubmitted the request on Monday and lawmakers approved it 53-2.

Tekebayev said at the time of his intial request to resign that Bakiyev "made me understand that I have to leave," but on Monday he denied that his decision was made under pressure.

He signaled that his departure would not ease tension between Bakiyev and parliament because "the nature of today's administration won't change."

Bakiyev and parliament have been at odds since coming to power in this impoverished Central Asian nation in an uprising in March last year that ousted its Soviet-era leader. The lawmakers have rejected several of his nominations for key government posts.

The president's criticism of Parliament followed a scandal involving the arrest of a senior security official on suspicion of the murder of a prominent international wrestler, Raatbek Sanatbayev, reports the AP.


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