13:22 GMT +321 January 2019
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    Kyrgyz opposition rejects govt. posts, wants early election

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    BISHKEK, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Kyrgyzstan's opposition is continuing to reject government posts even though five seats remain unoccupied in the new 22-member coalition Cabinet led by the oppositionist premier, the presidential press service said.

    President Kurmanbek Bakiyev instructed acting Prime Minister Almaz Atambayev appointed Friday to form a new coalition government as the opposition demanded.

    But leaders of radical and liberal opposition are refusing to join the new Cabinet, saying all they want is early presidential election.

    "Many people expected us to shut up and calm down if we were offered ministerial portfolios, but you can see that this has not happened," Omurbek Tekebayev, former speaker of parliament, said. "We want real reforms and we do not wish to be cogs in the corruption machine."

    Leader of the Social-Democratic Party and a co-chairman of the For Reforms opposition movement, Atambayev offered senior posts of the first deputy prime minister and deputy prime minister to opposition members but they refused to accept them either.

    Deputy Speaker of parliament Taiyrbek Sarpashev said members of the For Reforms opposition movement either did not want to leave parliament, did not believe in the stability of the new government, or could not afford to go against their principles.

    President Bakiyev, who came to power on the back of a violent uprising in March 2005 together with his former ally and ex-premier Felix Kulov, now in opposition, has brushed aside calls for early presidential elections and proposed holding a referendum on his presidency at the end of summer.

    Opposition said protests would be held April 9 and 11 as scheduled despite the government's efforts to reach a compromise.

    The poor Central Asian country has been rocked with protests and instability for several months. Opposition protests last fall resulted in the adoption of a new Constitution that delegated much of the president's authority to parliament.

    But in December parliament voted to reinstate the presidential powers after Bakiyev threatened to dissolve the legislature. Prime Minister Kulov resigned amid confrontation with parliament in mid-December and joined the opposition in February.

    Bakiyev's rule since the ouster of longtime leader Askar Akayev in March 2005 has been marred by pervasive corruption, economic problems, high-profile murders and prison riots.

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