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Resignation in Kyrgyzstan

April 13, 2010

The president of Kyrgyzstan has said he would trade his resignation for a guarantee of safety for himself and his family. Meanwhile, the interim government has threatened to forcibly remove him.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, center, during a rally of his supporters
Bakiyev himself came to power during a 2005 uprising known as the Tulip RevolutionImage: picture alliance/dpa

Kyrgyzstan's ousted president has said he may resign if his safety is guaranteed.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who fled the capital Bishkek amid bloody protests that killed 83 people last week, said that he would be willing to step down if certain preconditions were met.

"I will go into retirement if security is guaranteed for me and my family," Bakiyev announced at a news conference in his home village of Teyit.

The government has not responded to the statement.

Bakiyev added that the violence that has rocked the capital must also be put to a stop and a new presidential election held within two or three months.

Threats of force

The interim government had initially offered Bakiyev immunity, but revoked it when he failed to return to Bishkek by Tuesday.

The deputy head of the new government, Azimbek Beknazarov, then demanded Bakiyev's resignation and threatened a special operation to depose him should he continue to flaunt the authority of the new regime.

Bakiyev said he was not afraid of any special operations. "I personally know their capabilities, and I know they are not capable of any special operation. I am going to be sleeping soundly tonight," he said.

Earlier in the day, about 7,000 protesters rallied in the city of Jalalabad in support of the ousted president.

Editor: Chuck Penfold