Here is the full text of a statement purportedly from Kyrgyzstan's deposed leader Askar Akayev, as carried by Kyrgyz Kabar news agency on 25 March 2005.
Askar Akayev says he has left temporarily to avoid bloodshed
Dear compatriots! Fellow countrymen, brothers and sisters! In these tragic days for the dear country, I appeal to you as the president of Kyrgyzstan who was legally elected by the people.
An anti-constitutional coup d'etat has taken place in the country. A gang of irresponsible political carpetbaggers and plotters has embarked upon a criminal path of seizing power by force.
An uncontrolled and devastating wave of anarchy and rioting has swept over the capital and many regions of the country. Looting is being committed by extremists under false revolutionary slogans and appeals. Rumours that I have resigned from the post of president are untrue and ill-intentioned.
You may legitimately ask me why as president I did not stop the bacchanalia of disorder at the onset and why the plotters were able to achieve their black goals and even seized the building of the presidential administration.
Robbery and pillage
I did indeed have at my disposal sufficient forces who were capable of doing this. However, as you will recall, from the very moment the violence began in the southern districts of the country I resolutely announced that I would not embark upon the path of using force against my own people.
Never in my life have I deviated from the policy of resolving all problems by peaceful means.
When the uncontrolled wave of the rowdy mob began to move towards the White House, despite the recommendations given by some of my advisers, I issued strict orders that neither force nor weapons were to be used in order to avoid casualties, although I had the right to do this in order to ensure constitutional law and order.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world have seen with their own eyes who that mass of stupefied people was who, instigated by extremists, stormed the White House on the criminal orders of the ringleaders, and then started rioting and arson in the city. The robbery and pillage are still continuing.
However, these people are my compatriots, and I as president and as a citizen of Kyrgyzstan had no right to order weapons to be used and to deprive these people of their lives.
I did not want the law-enforcement forces and the presidential guard who are loyal to me to get their hands and conscience stained by [the blood of] casualties.
In this situation, I decided to leave the country temporarily in order to avoid bloody excesses. This has been done for humanitarian reasons, to avoid bloodshed and prevent casualties.
Now I and each of you are now faced with the question of what to do now. Some people think that those conspirators who are seeking power have the high goals of ensuring well-being and prosperity in the country. These are deceptive illusions.
History knows no examples of forces which have come to power on a criminal and anti-constitutional wave bringing good to society. Their destiny has always ended in collapse and shame.
In my capacity as the legitimate president of Kyrgyzstan, as I still am today, I am proud that in the 14 or so years of my presidency I have been able to carry out major democratic reforms, to preserve civil peace and accord in society and step by step carry out a policy of improving people's lives, overcoming poverty and preserving civil peace and accord in the country.
These newly-emerged revolutionaries exploded the situation literally in one day, derailing everything that had been done before.
The accords which I have recently attained with great difficulty regarding the implementation of major nation-wide projects in the sphere of hydroelectric power, establishing aluminium production, railway construction, the development of tourism and so on, which have the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs, could now be wrecked.
Our country, democratically and economically ruined, could become an outcast of the international community.
Turned into zombies
Dear compatriots, brothers and sisters!
As the legally elected head of state, I shall continue to be an inalienable and leading participant in the state and political processes in the republic.
The attempt to deprive me of presidential powers by unconstitutional means is a state crime. My presence outside the country is a temporary phenomenon.
I call upon those who have embarked upon this illegal path to return the situation to its initial state, and to restore the constitutional law and order.
I appeal to the wisdom of the aksakals [elders], which has ancient roots. I appeal to women to ask them to cool the hot heads of their husbands, sons and daughters who have been subjected to most evil anti-constitutional brainwashing. I appeal to young people to reflect upon their destiny.
For those who have embarked upon the path of extremism and criminal deeds will find the path to a civilised society closed to them. Value what you have received in democratic Kyrgyzstan and do not allow yourself to be turned into zombies by extremist revolutionary slogans.
I believe in our people with its ancient culture and lofty adherence to democratic values. I believe that the present revolutionary viruses will be overcome and that we shall together continue creative work aimed at raising up the country.
National salvation lies in our own hands. I belong to the Kyrgyz people with all my flesh and blood. In joys and sorrows, in successes and calamities I am always with my people, with you, my dear compatriots.