April 13th, 2010
10:19 AM ET

Sources: Kyrgyz president willing to step down

The ousted Kyrgyz president is willing to resign if he and his relatives are allowed safe passage out of the country, according to sources in southern Kyrgyzstan.

But there are sticking points in forging a deal that would allow Kurmanbek Bakiev to leave the central Asian country, engulfed by instability after fiery and deadly demonstrations raged in the capital of Bishkek last week.

Protesters took over the main government offices in the capital, including the presidential palace, and that forced Bakiev to flee to his native village near the city of Jalal-Abad in the country's south and ushered in the formation of an interim government led by political opposition leaders.

Some officials in the new government want to see Bakiev gone from the country, but others think he must be accountable for what they say are criminal actions.

Some say Bakiev's son was allegedly involved in questionable dealings in contracts with foreign companies. And the interim government would like to put people around the president on trial for the killings of journalists and political activists.

Prosecutors brought a number of criminal charges Monday against relatives and associates of Bakiev.

In reaction to a report on the official news agency that the interim government decided to lift the president's immunity as head of state, Bakiev said, "I don't recognize such actions." He said he was elected by the people and whatever the interim government decides is not legitimate.

The former Soviet state is very important to both Russia and the United States. Russian is the second language in Kyrgyzstan and has a military base there. The United States has a military base there that is a key supply link for U.S. and NATO forces in the Afghan war.

The protests in Kyrgyzstan began last Tuesday in the northern city of Talas. They were sparked by increases in electricity and fuel rates, which had gone up at the first of the year as Bakiev's government sold public utilities to companies controlled by his friends.

Demonstrations spread to the capital Wednesday after the government arrested opposition leaders in Talas. More than 80 people were killed in the civil unrest, according to the Health Ministry.

Bakiev said on Monday he has no plans to leave the country, and that he hasn't ruled out talks with the new government. Interim government head Roza Otunbayeva said on Monday that there are negotiations under way between the interim government and Bakiev about his political future.

While even though things are getting back to normal, hostilities are simmering.

Citizens in an angry crowd near the Kyrgyz seat of government, the White House, said on Tuesday they would want to see Bakiev go on trial and they will head down to the southern part of the country to administer such justice against Bakiev if the interim government doesn't do it.

That would portend more discord because Bakiev has popular support in his southern home region, illustrated by the thousands that turned out for him in a rally on Tuesday in Jalal-Abad.

The old and the new authorities - the ousted president who has lost much power and the interim government which lacks enough legitimacy or authority - are anxious to avoid any confrontations by forging a political settlement.

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Filed under: Kyrgyzstan • World
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Drichi Franco

    The president's departure is very important for calm the country. That is a very welcome development.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. The Man

    Willing to step down? His willingness, to me, seems to be a moot point. The people have spoken and the decision is clear.

    Maybe he better quit while he's ahead.

    April 13, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I am glad now that these people will have a chance to have a better life god bless them

    September 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    I hope the people have more say about goverment issues and have a better life god bless them

    September 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    I didnt post the two previous pieces I hope they suffer like these other trolls!!

    September 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    yes I did too troll

    September 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    no I didnt troll

    September 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    troll troll troll troll You have a big stinkhole

    September 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    gunghoe licks bung hole PUNK............

    September 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |