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Kyrgyz President to Resign if Family's Safety Guaranteed

Kyrgyzstan's president, deposed last week amid violence, is offering to "go into retirement" if the safety of his relatives and others allied with him is guaranteed.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, facing increasingly unrealistic odds of returning to power, appears ready to bow to the inevitable. Both Mr. Bakiyev and the provisional government are expressing a willingness to negotiate an end to the standoff that would culminate with his resignation.

Mr. Bakiyev invited the leaders of the interim government to come to the south for talks with him, saying that would be safer than him returning to the capital.

The deposed president says if the government guarantees no seizure or redistribution of property and provides security for members of his family and others close to him he would be willing to resign.

His change in stance follows an announcement by the interim government that President Bakiyev no longer has immunity from arrest, that he must come to Bishkek and surrender or a "special operation" would be launched to seize him.

The military and police switched sides after hundreds of anti-government demonstrators were shot by security forces in the capital. More than 80 have died.

Professor Medet Tiulegenov at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek tells VOA News that resolving the issue of the defiant president is critical for the legitimacy of the interim government and would clear the way for it to receive international recognition. "Legally, he is still the president. And, as an interim government, they are not legal. Although, in fact, they are a government, because they are controlling more than the president controls as they came on the wake of the overthrow of President Bakiyev. But, still, it is an issue," he said.

Mr. Bakiyev took power in 2005 after a similar violent uprising led to the ouster of his predecessor.

The interim government says it wants to rewrite the constitution and hold parliamentary elections.

In a statement issued Tuesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed "to all parties concerned to resolve the issue peacefully" and in accordance with Kyrgyzstan's present constitution.