Kulov declares newly elected parliament legitimate, Kyrgyz parliamentary conflict deepens

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sunday, March 27, 2005

File photo of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan Source: Hunne

Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary conflict intensified Sunday as Felix Kulov, appointed acting minister of securities by the reconvening former parliament, endorsed the newly elected parliament and threatened to "take measures to arrest" MPs of the former parliament that would not step down peacefully.

"The new parliament is legitimate and the old parliament's term has expired," Kulov, who was freed from prison by protesters following the overrunning of the presidential palace, said.

"According to the law, the new parliament has to start work... There are people whom I don't like in the newly elected parliament, but I am a law-abiding citizen and will obey the new parliament." He said that he had lost an election because of the interference of deposed president Askar Akayev's authorities, "But despite this, I acknowledged my defeat. We're not hicks here, we're members of the UN."

"Your term has expired. You had been elected for five years. A new parliament has to be elected. Whether you like it or not, I will obey its orders," Kulov said to the former MPs. "If you attempt to call people to go on the streets, I will be forced to arrest you; please don't take offence."

His threats were challenged by acting Prosecutor General Azimbek Beknazarov who said, "These are the people who freed you, will you arrest them?"

Kulov, appearing to apologize for his remarks, responded "I am tired; I apologize for that."

Beknazarov, closely allied with acting Prime Minister and President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, admitted the newly elected parliament was officially recognized. But Alevtina Pronenko, a member of Bakiyev's acting cabinet, said of the situation, "I think that the people will not stand for this." She said the decisions of the former parliament should be considered valid.

"If we can’t agree, we will not avoid a civil war,” Beknazarov said.

The Supreme Court declared the new parliament illegitimate and endorsed the former parliament several days ago on March 24, but the Central Election Commission voted to endorse the new parliament, saying the Supreme Court's decision was illegal.

The flag of Kyrgyzstan Source: SKopp

The OSCE is sending legal and constitutional experts to unravel the parliamentary conflict. The OSCE also rejected the recently declared June 26 election date. "I don't believe this [date] is realistic because it's a very short period of time. There are still a lot of questions unresolved -- constitutional questions," Markus Mueller, the OSCE's envoy to Kyrgyzstan, said. "If it does not become quieter, elections will just add to the instability." Its secretary general, Jan Kubis, arrived in Bishkek on Sunday. Kubis, who was involved in negotiations in the Ukraine last year, met with Bakeyev and other opposition leaders.

Bakiyev said Akayev remained the president under the constitution but ways of removing him as president legally were being examined. He also offered Akayev immunity were he to return to Kyrgyzstan.

Kulov said that he was "too busy" to even think about running in the new election, which Bakayev has said is planning on running in.

Ousted interior minister Keneshbek Dushebayev's announced plans to march on the capital with Akayev supporters did not come to fruition. About 700 protesters supporting Akayev gathered about 50 miles from Bishkek, in Akayev's native area of Kemin, and about 150 of them blocked a main road into the capital before dispersing. They said they did not accept Bakiyev as their leader.

"We have not and will not arrest our political opponents or former officials," Kulov said.

Related news

Wikipedia has more about this subject: