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21 Apr, 2010 10:00

“Death alone can stop me” – Kyrgyz leader in exile refuses to resign

Kyrgyz President in exile Kurmanbek Bakiyev has refused to recognize his resignation, despite earlier claims by the country’s opposition that he had officially left his post.

Bakiyev, who is currently with his family in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, at the invitation of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, made the statement on Wednesday.

"My people are living through a terrible tragedy. A gang of imposters have declared themselves as the authorities and they are committing outrage. As the president and safeguard of the Constitution, I am responsible for the catastrophe. I must stop this catastrophe. I do not recognize my resignation," he stated.

"There is no force that might make me relinquish the presidency," Bakiyev said. "Death alone can stop me. Kyrgyzstan will be nobody's colony. It will keep building a democratic state."

The Bakiyev statement declaring resignation from the post of president was faxed to the headquarters of the provisional government of Kyrgyzstan on April 16.

It claimed, as quoted by Itar-Tass news agency, that Bakiyev, “aware of his responsibility for the people, and for the purpose of keeping the integrity of the state, was tendering his resignation in compliance with the article of the Constitution concerned."

Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the Institute of the CIS countries, calls the actions of the ousted president “an emotional reaction” and says Bakiyev is not likely to return to power.

“He gave up when he decided to move several thousands kilometers further away from his country – to Belarus. If he planned to return he would move in the opposite direction”.

Kirill Koktysh, a political expert from Moscow Institute of International relations, thinks that Bakiyev has no chance of retaining his position.

“He was able to secure his position when he was president and he wouldn’t be able to after the massacre that was started because of his politics”, says Koktysh.

According to Koktysh, the interim government now has to prove whether they can stabilize the situation in the country.

“Kyrgyzstan is one step from becoming a failed state,” notes Koktysh.

Speaking about the measures the interim government can take to have Bakiyev extradited from Belarus, Koktysh points out that the interim government does not have many at hand.

“There are no strong measures they can apply to Belarus. There are no economic relations, no political relations between Kyrgyzstan and Belarus,” says Koktysh.

He says that Kyrgyzstan can only influence Belarus via Russia, and not directly.