Kyrgyz president offers alternative candidate for prime minister

Iran Materials 26 January 2007 12:53 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - The Kyrgyz president put forward an alternative candidate Friday for prime minister in a bid to end a standoff with parliament, after lawmakers twice rejected the nomination of his ally, the acting premier.

The presidential press service said that at a meeting with lawmakers Kurmanbek Bakiyev proposed acting Agriculture Minister Azim Isabekov, also seen as a presidential supporter, for the post, reports Trend.

The president held talks with parliamentary faction leaders to reach a compromise after MPs twice rejected the nomination of Felix Kulov, who came to power along with Bakiyev in a March 2005 uprising known as the "tulip revolution."

Under the Kyrgyz constitution adopted late last year after mass protests in the capital, Bishkek, parliament faces dissolution if it rejects a president-nominated candidate for premier three times in a row.

The dispute over parliament's refusal to back the president's nominee had put the troubled Central Asian country on the verge of another political crisis.

President Bakiyev first nominated Kulov, a 58-year-old former political prisoner, last week. On Thursday, parliament rejected the re-nomination of Kulov, branding it illegal.

However, an inconsistency was cited in Kyrgyz laws on the nomination procedure, which states that "a new candidacy" must be proposed. Some lawmakers interpreted the phrase as implying "a different candidacy".

Bakiyev said Thursday he was disappointed by parliament's decision to reject Kulov's candidacy, but agreed not to submit his candidacy for a third time.