I am still president, says exiled Kyrgyz leader

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I am still president, says exiled Kyrgyz leader

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The ousted leader of Kzrgyzstan speaking in exile from Belarus has insisted that he remains president of the central Asian country.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was overthrown after a violent uprising two weeks ago, resigned at first but has now taken that decision back, adding that “only death” would stop him from serving the people who had elected him. He said that the new interim government should not be recognised.

“I call on international leaders not to create a precedent, not to recognise the authority of this illegitimate gang,” he said. “I demand an independent international investigation and the punishment of those responsible for the death of the people.”

Bakiyev left Kyrgyzstan last week for neighbouring Kazakhstan after trying to rally support in his southern stronghold of Jalalabad.

In Osh as he addressed supporters there were gunshots after opponents meeting nearby interrupted the rally.

Bakiyev loyalists have since taken control of government buildings in Jalalabad, demanding his return to power.

Kyrgyzstan’s interim government has condemned Belarus for taking in the former leader, calling for his extradition.

The new administration has been trying to restore order amid reports of sporadic unrest. On Monday five people were killed in ethnic clashes near the capital Bishkek.