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Kyrgyz Opposition Lawmaker Turns Down Ministerial Post

Temir Sariev (file photo) (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, February 8, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Opposition lawmaker Temir Sariev has turned down an offer to serve as Kyrgyzstan's minister of economic development and trade, according to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.

Sariev was quoted today as saying he couldn't be a member of a government he continued to criticize.

He told RFE/RL that his participation would serve no purpose.

"I think there is a big misunderstanding between authorities and the opposition," Sariev said. "It's about Kyrgyzstan's policy, its direction, the president's and the government's activities. It would be politically wrong if I go there [to the government], because one person can do nothing."

New Prime Minister Azim Isabekov is trying to fill the last posts in what will be a 14-minister line-up. An announcement about the selection of a new foreign minister is expected later today.

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