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Kyrgyz Interim Official Will Not Run For President

Almazbek Atambaev (pictured) ran against Kurmanbek Bakiev for the presidency in 2009, a vote that the opposition said was stolen.
BISHKEK -- The first deputy chairman of Kyrgyzstan's interim government says he does not plan to run for president or compete in the parliamentary elections later this year, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Almazbek Atambaev, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party who ran for president in 2009, told journalists in Bishkek on May 25 that his major duty is to assist the interim government's leader, Roza Otunbaeva, who is also Kyrgyz president during the country's transition period.

Kyrgyzstan's current leadership came to power on April 7 after mass antigovernment protests toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

The interim government plans to hold a referendum on the country's new proposed constitution and whether Otunbaeva should continue to lead the country.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 10.

A new president is expected to be elected by the end of 2011.