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Defiant Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker Resigns

Parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebaev would not retract his comment that President Bakiev (shown) was "a dog" (file photo) (RFE/RL) 13 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The speaker of Kyrgyzstan's parliament today announced that he will resign rather than apologize for insulting the country's president, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Omurbek Tekebaev said in a written statement that he was leaving voluntarily.

Speaking to parliament today, Tekebaev said he preferred to resign rather than to apologize for the comments he made about President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

"Sorry, I have preferred to resign than to apologize," he said. " I didn't beg pardon from anybody. I wouldn't apologize for the truth."

There were calls for Tekebaev to step down after an independent television channel aired comments by Tekebaev in which he referred to Bakiev as quote "a dog" and suggested the president "hang himself from the first tree."

Tekebaev's resignation still needs to be approved by parliament on 20 February.

(with material from AFP)

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