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Senior Kyrgyz Interim Government Official Quits Post, Creates Own Party

Edil Baisalov shows reporters President Kurmanbek Bakiev's resignation letter at the height of the April crisis.
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz interim government's chief of staf says he has resigned from his post in order to establish a new political party ahead of parliamentary elections this fall, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Edil Baisalov told RFE/RL today that the process set in motion by the ouster in April of President Kurmanbek Bakiev has begun to lose momentum and orientation.

He said nothing the new government has done has failed to change the way appointments are made to official posts, prompting him to found his own party.

Baisalov said that while the country already has many political parties, they are now on equal footing and no single party has the command of resources enjoyed by the previous ruling party.

"That is the major guarantee that the parliamentary elections will be fair," Baisalov said.

He said the name of his party is still under discussion. Its provisional name is Generous Nation (Aikol El).

Baisalov becomes the most senior member of the interim government to have stepped down since it came to power in the wake of protester deaths on April 6-7 and Bakiev's subsequent flight into exile.

Baisalov is the former president of the Coalition for Civil Society and Democracy, a leading civic advocacy group in Kyrgyzstan. He played a key role in the so-called Tulip Revolution of March 2005 that toppled President Askar Akaev and ushered Bakiev into power.

A vocal critic of Bakiev's failure to crack down on organized crime, Baisalov survived an assassination attempt in April 2006. In December 2007, Baisalov left Kyrgyzstan for Sweden, fearing for his life and safety.

He returned to Kyrgyzstan on April 9 after the mass antigovernment protests that led to Bakiev's ouster. He then took the position of chief of staff of the interim government.

Parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan are scheduled for October 10.