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Kyrgyzstan: New Speaker Elected In People's Assembly

Bishkek, 26 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Abdygany Erkebaev has been elected as the new speaker of the Kyrgyz People's Assembly following the resignation of his predecessor earlier today.

Our correspondent reports that Erkebaev recieved the backing of 42 of the assembly's 70 members. The 44-year old Erkebaev has been a member of parliament since 1995 after earlier holding posts in the central government and as governor of the Osh region.

He replaces Almambet Matubraimov who resigned earlier today along with his deputy. The resignations came after the assembly voted to amend the regulations which apply to the speaker's term. Following two days of debate deputies voted to reduce the term a speaker can serve from five years to two-and-a-half years.

Mutabraimov was among six candidates nominated for the post after the vote but he declined the nomination.