Ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has said he is willing to meet the country’s provisional leaders. The interim government said earlier it had stripped Bakiyev of his presidential immunity and issued a warrant for his arrest.
Thousands of Bakiyev’s supporters gathered for a show of support in the southern region of Jalalabad, his political powerbase.
Despite talk of dialogue, Bakiyev was openly defiant:“I was elected by the people of Kyrgystan and therefore whatever the provisional government decides is not legitimate”, he told the crowd.
Officials from the self-declared interim government urged the deposed president to give himself up: “We have begun a criminal case against the former president. If he does not show up after today’s rally, there will be a special services operation to detain him.” said Azimbek Beknazarov, the interim minister in charge of security.
The standoff has raised fears that the former Soviet central Asian state state faces a prolonged political crisis.
Bakiyev fled the capital last week after an uprising by opposition supporters in which at least 80 people were killed.
Bakiyev has denied ordering the police to shoot into the crowds of protestors, who had gathered to demand his resignation.
Bakiyev defiant in face of arrest threat