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Ousted Kyrgyz Leader Resigns

  • Lisa McAdams

After more than a decade in power, Kyrgyzstan's long-time leader, Askar Akayev, is resigning. Mr. Akayev signed a resignation agreement Sunday in Moscow, where he fled during an anti-government uprising last month that followed disputed parliamentary elections.

Mr. Akayev's resignation, effective Tuesday, could go a long way toward restoring order in the former Soviet state.

By formally resigning, Mr. Akayev removes the last major hurdle to holding new presidential elections. The resignation also gives authority to Kyrgyzstan's interim leadership, including acting president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Anabek Yamanaliyev is a member of the Kyrgyz delegation dispatched to Moscow to negotiate the terms of the resignation. He announced the news outside Kyrgyzstan's embassy in Moscow.

Mr. Yamanaliyev praised Mr. Akayev for making what he says is the only legitimate choice - to pass power peacefully.

The deputy also said that Mr. Akayev has taped a message to the Kyrgyz nation, which is expected to be aired before a special session of the nation's legislature on Tuesday in the capital, Bishkek.

During the special session, lawmakers are also expected to set June 26 as the date for presidential elections.

Another Kyrgyz lawmaker in Moscow said Mr. Akayev also agreed not to oppose the new authorities in his resignation statement, which lists Russia and neighboring Kazazkhstan, as guarantors.

Mr. Akayev had long been seen as one of Central Asia's most liberal and reform-minded rulers. But in recent years, opponents say he was growing increasingly authoritarian, repressing political opposition.

In the elections that led to his ouster his son and daughter won parliamentary seats, which added to concern that to maintain his grip on power he either intended to change the constitution or transfer authority to a member of his family.