Kyrgyz ex-president remains defiant

Kyrgyzstan's ousted president has insisted he is still the legitimate president and urged the world not to legitimise the uprising in which he was forced into exile.

Speaking in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, Kurmanbek Bakiyev called on the international community to shun the interim government which seized power after deadly riots.

"I am the legitimately elected president," Bakiyev told journalists.

Bakiyev resigned through a handwritten note last week and left Kyrgyzstan in the wake of violent anti-government rallies that left at least 84 people dead and more than 1,600 injured, according to official counts.

'Gang of bandits'

"I do not recognise my resignation. Nine months ago the people of Kyrgyzstan elected me their president and there is no power that can stop me. Only death can stop me." Bakiyev told journalists in the Minsk-based headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a grouping of former Soviet republics.

"Everyone must know the bandits who are trying to take power are the executors of an external force and have no legitimacy," he said about Kyrgyzstan's new, self-declared leadership.

"I call on leaders of the international community: do not set a precedent and do not recognise this gang as the legitimate authorities."

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus' president, invited Bakiyev to take sanctuary in Minsk on Tuesday.

The interim government, led by Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, dismissed Bakiyev's defiant comments, saying he had signed and sealed his own resignation.

Otunbayeva has slammed Belarus' decision to take him refuge and demanded his extradition.

"This criminal must be handed over back to our country. If that does not happen, there is Interpol," she said on Tuesday.

The interim leaders accuse Bakiyev of corruption and nepotism and say he must answer for the deaths of at least 85 people in the uprising, when police and troops repeatedly opened fire on protesters, some armed.

"I am not evading responsibility for the catastrophe and I am ready to answer to the law," Bakiyev said, without elaborating.


Partners: Social Network