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Kyrgyzstan: Delegation In Moscow To Negotiate With Ousted President

Akaev voting on 27 February, in elections that led to the protests that ousted him as president A parliamentary delegation from Kyrgyzstan arrived in Moscow today for talks with ousted President Askar Akaev, aimed at persuading him officially to resign. Akaev's official resignation is seen as important because it would remove the last doubts about the legitimacy of Kyrgyzstan's new leadership. It would also allow a smooth running of a new presidential election, due on 26 June.

Prague, 3 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A Kyrgyz parliamentary delegation is seeking the unconditional resignation of ousted President Askar Akaev.

The talks in Moscow between the parliamentary delegation and Akaev are to take place today. No mediators were expected to be present.

A member of the delegation, Temir Sariev, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that the Kyrgyz authorities decided yesterday to reject all conditions put forward by the ousted president.

"We have agreed on the only one condition for the negotiations [with Akaev] and the condition is to return to constitutional legality. It is that Askar Akaev should sign a statement of resignation," Sariev said.

Sariev said that the terms were agreed yesterday during a meeting between Kyrgyzstan's acting President Kurmanbek Bakiev, and parliamentary speaker Omurbek Tekebaev, plus the head of the Supreme Court and the members of the parliamentary delegation. All other conditions are non-negotiable:

"All other demands and conditions are removed. We have agreed that only on this condition the parliamentary delegation would go to Moscow [to negotiate with Akaev]. The meeting would take place in the embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic. Akaev's signature on the resignation statement would be confirmed by the state notary," Sariev told RFE/RL.

It is not clear yet if Akaev will accept the new terms. Just two days ago, speaking to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Akaev outlined his terms for stepping down.

"I am not asking anything above the law. First of all, I am asking that I and members of my family get security guarantees. Also, I am asking that the laws are observed. [The rules governing the status of ex-presidents] are written into the constitution. The upper house [of the old parliament] passed a law [on ex-presidents]. That is all I am asking for," Akaev said (see Former Kyrgyz President Akaev Calls Ouster 'Putsch').

Sariev also said the Kyrgyz authorities will not give the ousted president the status of the first president of the country. Instead he would granted a status of a former president, which provides less benefits and is much less honorable.

However, even if Akaev refuses to accept the terms put forward by the new Kyrgyz authorities, he is unlikely to be in a position to change a lot. Constitutional Court Chairwoman Cholpon Baekova said yesterday the country will go on with the presidential election regardless of Akaev's position:

"The [new presidential] election will be held in any case. At least [the individuals] who held a meeting today in the Constitutional Court discussed this question and clearly stated that the elections will be on 26 June, regardless of any announcement [by Akaev]," Baekova said.

Akaev fled Kyrgyzstan on 24 March, after thousands of opposition demonstrators overran the main seat of government in the capital Bishkek, and is now staying in Russia.

For more on events in Kyrgyzstan, see RFE/RL's dedicated website Revolution In Kyrgyzstan

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