Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akayev says he will not resign or annul the results of recent parliamentary elections which the opposition claims were fraudulent.

With mass protests taking place in the southern cities, Mr. Akayev told the newly elected parliament Tuesday that the election was legitimate. He said that, as far resigning is concerned, only the people or parliament can make such a decision.

The Kyrgyz leader also accused the opposition of deliberately stoking tensions in the country, but ruled out imposing a state of emergency or using force to crush the protests.

Meanwhile, opposition supporters formed joint patrols with police to keep order in two southern cities they took control of Monday.