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Kyrgyz President To Resign

Interim Leaders, Akayev Set Deal

By Henry Meyer
Associated Press
Monday, April 4, 2005; Page A10

MOSCOW, April 3 -- Askar Akayev, the Kyrgyz president who fled his country last month after demonstrators stormed his offices, said he will resign on Monday.

Akayev met for three hours Sunday with a delegation representing Kyrgyzstan's interim leadership and later told reporters that a protocol for his resignation had been completed, and he would sign it Monday.

President Askar Akayev fled Kyrgyzstan late last month.

The delegation was led by Omurbek Tekebayev, the speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament who is one of Akayev's most prominent opponents.

Both Tekebayev and Akayev emphasized that the agreement would be a significant step toward restoring stability in Kyrgyzstan, which has been on edge since opposition supporters stormed the presidential building in the capital, Bishkek, on March 24. The protesters were angry about a parliamentary election they said was rigged.

A former opposition leader, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, is now the acting president.

"We have approved a very good and historic document," said Akayev, 60, who led the Central Asian country for 16 years. It will "pave the way for finding a way out of the political crisis that Kyrgyzstan has found itself in."

Full details of the resignation agreement were not immediately available, but Akayev said Russia and Kazakhstan were listed as guarantors. Akayev reportedly used neighboring Kazakhstan as a refuge after leaving Kyrgyzstan and before coming to Russia.

Likely at issue in the talks were assurances that Kyrgyzstan would not repeal the law under which Akayev, as president, was granted immunity from prosecution. Akayev and his family are widely believed in Kyrgyzstan to have been corrupt.

Akayev's resignation would remove the last apparent roadblock to the presidential elections that the interim government has called for June 26. If he had insisted on remaining president, the legitimacy of those elections could have been questioned at home and abroad.

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