(RIA Novosti) - Kyrgyzstan's parliament rejected Thursday the candidacy of Felix Kulov for the post of prime minister for the second time in two weeks.
The vote took place despite protests from a parliamentary committee on constitutional law, but gave Kulov only 25 of the 38 votes needed for his candidacy to be approved.
The president of the Central Asian country, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, put Kulov forward for the post last week but lawmakers deemed his move illegal, reports Trend.
A former political prisoner, Kulov, 58, came to power along with President Bakiyev on the back of a violent uprising in March 2005, which ousted previous President Askar Akayev.
Commenting on the results of the vote last Thursday, Kulov said he was hardly surprised, but that he was confident he would eventually return to his post. "We foresaw this result. The president has pledged to continue nominating me, and I expect a positive result," Kulov said at the time.
Under the new Kyrgyz constitution adopted in late December, parliament will face dissolution if it rejects the president-nominated candidate for premier three times in a row.
However, an inconsistency has been cited in Kyrgyz laws on the procedure for nominating a candidate for premier, which states that "a new candidacy" must be proposed. Some lawmakers have interpreted the phrase as implying "a different candidacy".
In November 2006, Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek was swept by mass opposition protests demanding a new constitution granting more power to parliament and seeking the resignation of the Bakiyev-Kulov leadership.
Lawmakers pressed the president to sign a new constitution November 8 that slashed the authority of the president and government in favor of the legislature, angering Bakiyev and Kulov's supporters. The document was a compromise between the opposition and pro-government lawmakers.
Kulov's Cabinet resigned December 19. Amid continuing protests, President Bakiyev said he would dissolve parliament, forcing it to backtrack and change the constitution once again.
The final version of the fundamental law was adopted December 30 and came into force Tuesday, restoring the president and the premier's right to form the government and requiring the parliament's approval only for the candidacy of the prime minister.