Kyrgyz lawmakers approve new government setup

Iran Materials 6 February 2007 12:45 (UTC +04:00)

(www.rian.ru) вЂ" Kyrgyzstan's parliament approved Tuesday proposals for a new government structure submitted by Prime Minister Azim Isabekov.

The Central Asian nation's government will be headed by the prime minister, the first deputy prime minister and one deputy prime minister. The Cabinet will include the government chief of staff, with the rank of minister, reports Trend.

Under the new system there will be 14 ministries and five committees, including ministries of finance, justice, defense, interior affairs, and emergency situations; and committees for state defense, migration and employment, and customs.

"I believe that this Cabinet structure satisfies parliament, the president and the government," the premier said after the vote. The first appointments to the new government are likely to be made later in the day, he said.

The new structure also comprises 12 agencies answering directly to the prime minister, including agencies for religious affairs, tourism, architecture and construction, sports, technology, state procurements, environmental protection, and antimonopoly policy.

Parliament approved Azim Isabekov as prime minister in late January, following a standoff between the president and lawmakers.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev nominated Isabekov, who was then serving as agriculture minister, after MPs twice rejected the candidacy of former premier Felix Kulov, who resigned late last year after large-scale protests in the impoverished ex-Soviet state that forced through a series of amendments to the constitution. Fifty-seven of 61 members in the legislature backed Isabekov's nomination, and four voted against.

Speaking on the priorities of the new Cabinet, Isabekov said: "The activities of the government should be far from politics and focus on economic and financial development." The government will closely cooperate with parliament on all issues, he said.

Isabekov, 46, an economist by training, held various posts in regional authorities in the early 1990s.

He became President Bakiyev's deputy chief of staff following the "tulip revolution" that toppled the longtime leader Askar Akaeyv in 2005, and was appointed agriculture minister in June 2006.