Kyrgyz President ready to resign if safety ensured
Teyit (Kyrgyzstan): The ousted President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev has offered to resign if the interim government guarantees his and his family's safety, reports said on Tuesday.
Bakiyev is currently hiding in the south of the country after his government was overthrown in violent protests last week.
Earlier in the day, the interim government had lifted his presidential immunity and had threatened to arrest him by force if he refused to surrender.
He reportedly told a news conference in his home village that, "I will go into retirement if security is guaranteed for me and my relatives."
Earlier, his supporters rallied in his home village, testing his ability to mount resistance to the opposition forces that drove him out of the capital last week.
As about 500 people gathered in a muddy field in Kurmanbek Bakiyev's native village of Teyit, the deputy head of the self-declared interim government said in the capital that an operation to arrest Bakiyev was being organized.
"Just let him try. If he does, much blood will be shed," Bakiyev told reporters who asked him about the statement by Almazbek Atambayev.
Atambayev did not give details about the arrest plans, but said "we do not want fresh bloodshed."
At least 81 people died in the capital last Wednesday when a confrontation between police and protesters exploded into gunfire and chaos. Protesters stormed government buildings and Bakiyev fled to his native southern region.
He has refused to step down and the rally in Teyit brought an array of speakers who vowed their support and waved banners with slogans such as "Hands off the legitimate president."
There were no uniformed police in view at the rally, and the loyalty of the country's security forces remains a significant question.