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Kyrgyzstan: Ethnic Russian Selected As New Prime Minister

Bishkek, 30 May 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The upper house of the Kyrgyz parliament today approved Nikolai Tanaev, an ethnic Russian, to be Kyrgyzstan's new prime minister. The vote was 36 to five in favor. President Askar Akaev appointed Tanaev as acting prime minister last week after Kurmanbek Bakiev resigned. Bakiev stepped down after a special commission blamed senior government officials for failing to prevent the deaths of five antigovernment protesters in clashes with police in March. Tanaev was first deputy prime minister in Bakiyev's government.

Tanaev was born in Russia's Penza Oblast and attended and an engineering-construction university in Kazakhstan. He is the first ethnic Russian to be chosen as Kyrgyzstan's prime minister.