Bakiyev ready to return to Kyrgyzstan, announce referendum - Lukashenko

The FINANCIAL -- Deposed Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev is ready to return to the ex-Soviet Central Asian republic and announce a referendum, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on May 27, according to RIA Novosti.

Bakiyev was forced to flee Kyrgyzstan after he was overthrown in a wave of bloody unrests in the country, in which more than 80 people died.

He has since taken refuge in Belrarus and the Kyrgyz interim government has demanded his extradition and launched criminal proceedings against him, blaming him and his relatives for the deaths of dozens people shot by security forces during the uprisings.

The Belarusian president said he talked to Bakiyev around two weeks ago.

"I said 'Are you ready to return to Kyrgyzstan and announce a referendum?' and he replied 'I am ready,'" Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko said Bakiyev announcing a referendum is the only legal solution to the situation in Kyrgyzsrtan.

"And who will announce it [referendum]? If a referendum takes place and someone else wants to grab power, another uncontrollable situation will ensue," he said, adding that only the president and the parliament can announce a referendum in Kyrgyzstan.


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