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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 11:58 GMT
Kyrgyz president sacks minister
Opposition rally in Bishkek on 5 November 2006
Opposition protesters want President Bakiyev to resign
Kyrgyzstan's President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has sacked his interior minister in a bid to end mounting protests, reports say.

Interior Minister Osmonali Guronov was replaced by Omurbek Suvanaliyev.

The news came as thousands of people continued to protest outside government buildings in the capital Bishkek.

They are calling for President Bakiyev himself to resign, saying he has failed to introduce democratic reforms he promised upon his election in 2005.

'No violence'

Thousands of demonstrators gathered next to the iron gate of the presidential palace chanting "Down with Bakiyev", according to the BBC's Natalia Antelava, in Bishkek.

Riot police had first encircled the building but then let the demonstrators come closer, she added.

Following his appointment, new Interior Minister Omurbek Suvanaliyev is reported to have sought to reassure the protesters that they would not be fired upon by the police.

"We are with the people. Let's keep order here and find a political solution to political demands. There were will no use of violence against you while I am minister," he said, addressing them from the protesters' own loudspeaker truck.

Mr Suvanaliyev is respected by the opposition but his appointment has been dismissed as a tactical move by the president to buy more time, Reuters news agency reports.

Boycotting parliament

Earlier, opposition leaders accused the president of pushing the country into a political deadlock after he failed to arrive, as promised, at parliament to present a new constitution.

Instead, President Bakiyev sent suggestions for several amendments - which were rejected as not significant enough by the opposition.

Thousands of people have gathered in the capital since Thursday, calling on President Bakiyev to resign.

They say he has not fulfilled the promise he made when he took power that he would hand over some presidential powers to parliament.

Nearly half the country's MPs are boycotting parliament.

Mr Bakiyev said at the end of last week that any reforms could not be hurried through as fast as the opposition wants.




SEE ALSO
Kyrgyz protesters call for change
02 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Voices from Bishkek protest rally
02 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Kurmanbek Bakiyev
11 Jul 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Kyrgyz revolution gains remain unequal
21 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Kyrgyzstan
29 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

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