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Thousands Rally Against Kyrgyz President


Thousands of opposition activists in Kyrgyzstan rallied for a third consecutive day to demand the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Protesters shouted slogans against the president as they gathered in the capital, Bishkek, Friday to call for a new coalition government. Some of the demonstrators have been camping out in tents in the city's central square, Ala-Too.

Protesters accuse the president of corruption and say they will remain in the square until he steps down.

The president's chief of staff, Myktybek Abdyldayev, Friday resigned from his post. Further details were not available.

Earlier this week, the president said the opposition is planning a coup. He also signed constitutional amendments curtailing his powers.

The president has said the opposition seems unwilling to acknowledge the concessions he has made.

Mr. Bakiyev recently appointed a moderate opposition leader as the new prime minister.

He also invited the opposition to join the Cabinet and said a new constitution could be ready by early 2008.

Kyrgyzstan has been in political turmoil since violent protests drove Mr. Bakiyev's predecessor, Askar Akayev, from office in 2005. The opposition was emboldened when former Prime Minister Felix Kulov joined the movement earlier this year.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

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