Upper house of former Kyrgyz parliament steps down, Bakiyev pledges to fight corruption

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

File photo of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan Source: Hunne

The upper house of the former Kyrgyz parliament declared it was terminating its work "to stabilize the situation and do away with conflicts" on Tuesday, as the lower house had done a day before.

The decision was signed by 32 of the 45 deputies. "We think we have fulfilled our task, as far as was possible, especially in this time of trials," they said.

Opposition leader and acting President and Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev, said the deputies "have made a historically correct decision." He called on everyone to accept the new parliament as legitimate "in the interest of the whole nation".

Bakiyev then delivered a 30-minute speech to about 300 civil servants, which was received with complete silence. He told them, "fighting corruption and paying pensions and benefits is our number one priority now."

"We need to deal with the economy ... A huge part of the state system was devoted to the election process. That is not a secret...We have all seen what happens when the executive branch gets involved in elections. I think we will not get into that now ... I think that staff should get back to work," he said.

"Whoever is ... on my staff, if I hear that they got promoted for money or because they are someone's relative, or they belong to particular clan, then this person will be removed immediately," he added.

"We will set up public hotline so that people can complain against corruption," he told them.

Meanwhile, deposed president Askar Akayev's supporters said they would form a party and run a candidate in the presidential poll.

Ousted emergencies minister Timirbek Akmataliyev and interior minister Keshenbek Dyushenbayev said they were forming the Akyikat (Fairness) political party. Akmataliyev said he would run for president in June.

The two called for Akayev to return to Kyrgyzstan and formally resign. "Askar Akayev has to come back to the republic and answer for his actions in front of the people, after which he must immediately resign," Akmataliyev said.

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