Kyrgyz Parliament Rejects Kulov's Nomination As Prime Minister
BISHKEK, January 18, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz lawmakers today rejected President Kurmanbek Bakiev's bid to reappoint outgoing Prime Minister Feliks Kulov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.
Feliks Kulov (file photo) (RFE/RL)
Only 23 parliamentarians backed Kulov's nomination, while 39 voted against. A minimum of 38 votes was required for his candidacy to be approved.
Addressing Kulov before the vote, opposition lawmaker Azimbek Beknazarov urged him to withdraw his candidacy.
"I may be wrong, but I believe your nomination will be rejected," Beknazarov said. "Be brave and admit that you cannot perform your duties of prime minister. Admit that you have been unable to do so for the past year-and-a-half. I think it would be better if you refused [to be reappointed]. Be a man!"
Another opposition parliamentarian, Melis Eshimkanov, said he would support Kulov's nomination "for the sake of Kyrgyzstan's stability and future."
Under the existing constitution, Bakiev can still submit Kulov's nomination for parliamentary approval two more times. If lawmakers reject his choice, the president can dissolve the legislature.
Kulov and his cabinet resigned on December 19 in a move that sparked political turmoil and resulted in the adoption of a revamped constitution that gives the president more powers.
In other news, a suspected leader of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir radical Islamist group was arrested on January 17 in the southern city of Osh. He was reportedly found in possession of weapons, ammunition, and religious literature.
Although Hizb ut-Tahrir advocates the establishment of a regional Islamic state, or caliphate, by peaceful means, the group is outlawed throughout most of Central Asia.
(with material from 24.kg, AKIpress)