Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 14:25 UK

Kyrgyz insider chosen as premier

Newly-appointed Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Daniyar Usenov , 21 October
Daniyar Usenov used to be the mayor of Bishkek

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has appointed a close ally to be prime minister after the previous premier resigned in protest at his reforms.

Daniyar Usenov, who was once the mayor of the capital, Bishkek, has been named to succeed Igor Chudinov.

On Tuesday Mr Bakiyev proposed sweeping changes to streamline government structures and cut the civil service.

Mr Chudinov said the move was designed to strengthen Mr Bakiyev's role, and decided to resign in protest.

But Mr Bakiyev insists the changes are designed to make government more efficient, and help the country address economic problems and security threats.

The new prime minister is said to be one of the richest people in Kyrgyzstan, and is notorious for taking a tough line on dissent.

He has previously served as the mayor of Bishkek and also headed the presidential administration.

After Mr Bakiyev named him as the new prime minister, Mr Usenov's appointment was quickly approved by the pro-presidential party that dominates parliament.

Mr Bakiyev won a second five-year term as Kyrgyzstan's president in July this year, in a poll that was heavily criticised by Western observers.

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