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Kyrgyz President Suspends Active Role In New Party

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev (file photo) (RFE/RL) October 16, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has suspended his activities as chairman of a new political party, just hours after its creation, in order to comply with the country's constitution, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

The deputy chairman of the Ak Jol Eldik Partiyasy (Best Path Popular Party), Avtandil Arabaev, made the announcement in Bishkek today.

"In connection with the fact that the party has begun officially functioning as a legal entity, Kurmanbek Saliyevich Bakiev has addressed the political council of the party with a request to suspend his activities as chairman during the time of his presidency," Arabaev said.

The party's three deputy chairmen will perform the chairman's duties in the meantime.

The Ak Jol Eldik held its founding congress on October 15, and the organization was subsequently registered by the Justice Ministry. The party joins a field of more than 90 registered political parties in Kyrgyzstan.

Several opposition parties are considering joining forces, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports. The political maneuvering comes in anticipation of parliamentary elections that could come as early as this December.

Kyrgyz voters are meanwhile preparing for a referendum on a new constitution that is scheduled for October 21.

(with material from agency reports)

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RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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