Kyrgyzstan's interim government said on Tuesday it had issued a decree removing the immunity of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and threatened to arrest him if he does not return to Bishkek.
Deputy Prime Minister Azimbek Beknazarov told journalists on Tuesday that effective immediately, Bakiyev had no immunity from prosecution, enabling the authorities to issue a warrant for his arrest.
He said that if the president, who fled Bishkek last week amid violent protests that swept the opposition to power, did not return to the capital on Tuesday he would be arrested.
An aide to Bakiyev said the president was aware of the threat.
"We already knew about this ultimatum. The president will comment on it himself," the aide said, adding that Bakiyev would hold a news conference at 4 p.m. local time (10:00 GMT).
The opposition has previously urged the president to resign and leave the country, but Bakiyev has said he will not step down.
Beknazarov also said the provisional government had suspended the former Soviet Central Asian republic's Constitutional Court.
"All this time the Constitutional Court has defied the Constitution, backing the interests of the families of [former President Askar] Akayev and Bakiyev," the deputy prime minister told the judges.
BISHKEK, April 13 (RIA Novosti)
He said the court would not resume its duties until a new constitution had been adopted.