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Kyrgyz Parliament Elects New Speaker


Kyrgyzstan's new parliamentary speaker Asylbek Jeenbekov

Kyrgyzstan's new parliamentary speaker Asylbek Jeenbekov

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz parliament has elected Social Democrat Asylbek Jeenbekov to be parliamentary speaker, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

In a secret ballot, 78 deputies voted for Jeenbekov and 25 voted against with the other 17 ballots ruled to be invalid.

The opposition Ata-Jurt party nominated Kurmanbek Osmonov to be speaker but he did not have as much support as Jeenbekov.

After the election Jeenbekov answered questions from the deputies of the five parties represented in parliament. He said he is against dissolving parliament and as speaker would resist any calls for its dissolution.

Jeenbekov, 47, also said he supports a law that prohibits any review or amending of the constitution prior to 2020.

Asked about the Social Democratic Party usurping power -- as President Almazbek Atambaev is also a member of the party -- Jeenbekov said such suggestions are "groundless."

Jeenbekov pointed out that Atambaev won a popular election and the speaker is chosen by parliament, not by one party.

Jeenbekov's brother, Sooronbai, is the governor of the southern Osh Province.

Jeenbekov replaces Akhmatbek Keldibekov, who announced his resignation on December 12 amid allegations that he had ties to criminal groups.

Read more in Kyrgyz here

Read more in Russian here
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