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Kyrgyz President Fires Officials

23 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev today fired the country's interior minister and prosecutor-general as opposition protests kept up pressure on his government.

The president's spokesman, Abdil Seghizbaev, said that Interior Minister Bakirdin Subanbekov and Prosecutor-General Myktybek Abdyldaev were dismissed at their own request.

But the spokesman added that the dismissals were linked to demonstrations in the southern part of the country and their "poor work on preventing those events."

Akaev named the security chief of his administration, Murat Sutalinov, as the new chief prosecutor. Bishkek police chief Keneshbek Dushebaev was picked as interior minister.

The protests began after the first round of parliamentary elections on 27 February and swelled after 13 March runoffs that the opposition said were seriously flawed. Protesters last week seized control of government buildings in two major cities in southern Kyrgyzstan and several smaller towns.

(with agency reports)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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