Ousted Kyrgyz leader blasts interim gov't

MINSK, Belarus, April 21 (UPI) -- Kyrgyzstan's ousted leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev blasted the interim government and said he is the true president of the Central Asian country.

Speaking from Belarus, where he has taken refuge since fleeing his home country after being ousted in a violent uprising this month, Bakiyev called the interim government of Roza Otunbayeva an "illegitimate gang," BBC News reports.

"I, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, am the legally elected president of Kyrgyzstan and recognized by the international community," he said. "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 last week said he was ready to resign if the opposition guarantees his and his family's safety, an offer turned down by the interim government.

Otunbayeva wants Bakiyev to stand trial because of the bloody fighting that ousted him. More than 80 people died in the unrest.

The country's interim government is under pressure to contain violence that erupted over the past two days, raising fears of a civil war.


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