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Kyrgyz Defense Minister Resigns To Take Part In Elections

Ismail Isakov
Ismail Isakov
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov has officially resigned in order to be eligible for parliamentary elections scheduled for October, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Isakov wrote to President Roza Otunbaeva asking her to relieve him of his post and recommending his deputy, Kubanychbek Oruzbaev, to take his place.

Isakov said in Bishkek today that he will take part in parliamentary elections as head of the newly created Azattyk (Liberty) Democratic Party.

In addition to Isakov, Deputy Prime Ministers Almazbek Atambaev, Omurbek Tekebaev, and Temir Sariev -- who also served as finance minister -- have resigned to be candidates in the elections scheduled for October 10. So, too, did Health Minister Damira Niyazalieva.

Otunbaeva said several weeks ago that anyone in her government wanting to run as a candidate in the parliamentary elections would have to resign his/her government post.

Isakov spent the last few months of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev's term in jail on corruption charges that his supporters and rights activists said were politically motivated.