Kyrgyzstan's parliament elects new speaker

Kyrgyzstan's parliament Thursday chose a replacement for its speaker who had stepped down after saying the country's president should "go hang himself" for his criticism of lawmakers.

Lawmakers voted 45-14 in favor of Marat Sultanov as the new speaker.

Previous speaker Omurbek Tekebayev stepped down Monday after saying that President Kurmanbek Bakiyev "should go hang himself, if he is a man."

Bakiyev had strongly criticized lawmakers for allegedly hindering his government's work, and said parliament "has turned into a place of squabbling, tension and instability."

Bakiyev has had tense relations with the legislature since coming to power in this impoverished Central Asian nation in an uprising last March that ousted its Soviet-era leader.

The lawmakers have rejected several of his nominations for key government posts.

Sultanov, a former National Bank chairman, has been a parliament member since 2000. According to some lawmakers, his candidacy was supported by Bakiyev, reports the AP.

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