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Kyrgyz Opposition Ready For Talks With President

Kyrgyz President Bakiev (file photo) (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, October 23, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz opposition leaders today said they were still ready to examine ways to defuse current political tensions with President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

The For Reforms opposition movement says it has set up a group that will be tasked with seeking a meeting with Bakiev.

Among the group is former parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebaev.

Talking to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service ahead of today's announcement, Tekebaev said the door remained open for talks, but only if there was a chance of achieving results.

"The For Reforms movement is always ready for talks," he said. "There is still time before November 2 and there will be time after November 2. Nothing irreversible will happen [on November 2]. However, our readiness to hold talks [with Bakiev] must aim at achieving results."

At the core of the dispute between For Reforms and Bakiev are constitutional reforms the Kyrgyz president promised during his election campaign last year and which, if implemented, would curtail his prerogatives.

For Reforms has called for an open-ended protest rally on November 2 in a bid to press Bakiev to fulfill his pre-election pledges, or step down.

Leaders of the movement on October 21 canceled a planned meeting with Bakiev and his top aides, arguing it would be a "fruitless discussion."

Bakiev has blamed his opponents for "speaking the language of ultimatums."

Meanwhile, the president today said in a statement he would address lawmakers next week (October 30) to explain his vision of Kyrgyzstan's future form of government.

A statement posted on Bakiev's website says the presidential speech will aim at "putting an end" to all uncertainties regarding the current political situation and the upcoming constitutional reform.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service,, and AKIpress)

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