Source Pravda.Ru

Kyrgyz Parliament again blocks president's bid to reinstate prime minister

Kyrgyzstan's parliament blocked for a second time President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's bid to reinstate Felix Kulov as prime minister Thursday, amid a continuing political crisis in the impoverished former Soviet republic.

Lawmakers voted 38-25 against Kulov, who resigned in December over disagreements with the parliament over presidential powers.

Parliament first rejected Kulov's reinstatement last week.

Political infighting has plagued Kyrgyzstan since the March 2005 ouster of longtime ruler Askar Akayev. The rule of Bakiyev, a former opposition leader who replaced Akayev, has been marked by persistent discord over the division of power between the president and the prime minister on one side, and lawmakers on the other.

Kulov resigned Dec. 19 to protest constitutional changes that were adopted in November after a week of opposition protests. The reforms curtailed the president's powers and gave the parliament more authority.

Kulov said the limits on presidential powers made it impossible for the Cabinet to work with the parliament.

After Kulov's move, Bakiyev threatened to dissolve the parliament and pushed through new amendments that restored his powers.

Justice Minister Marat Kayypov told The Associated Press on Thursday that there is no clearly outlined procedure for selecting the prime minister in the amended constitution, and that it "all depends on the president" how many times he will nominate the same candidate.

Kayypov also said that the new constitution does not give president authority to dissolve the parliament, reports AP.

The United States maintains a military base in Kyrgyzstan its only such outpost in former Soviet Central Asia to back up operations in Afghanistan. Russia, which has strong influence in Kyrgyzstan, also has an air base in the country.

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