Kyrgyz president names opposition figure as deputy PM

Last week, Bakiyev sacked several government officials but has not explained his motives.

Kyrgyz president names opposition figure as deputy PM

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev named an opposition politician as first deputy prime minister on Monday as part of a reshuffle analysts have linked to a 2010 presidential election.

Omurbek Babanov, 38, ran for the Central Asian state's parliament in 2007 as a member of the moderate opposition Social Democratic party. He has since quit politics to concentrate on business, but retained party membership.

Last week, Bakiyev sacked several government officials but has not explained his motives.

"New approaches and measures are needed to tackle issues related to our country's development," Bakiyev's press service quoted him as saying. "We are betting on young people with new ways of thinking who can swiftly take adequate measures."

Also on Monday, Bakiyev named Kadyrbek Sarbayev, former ambassador to China, as foreign minister.

Kyrgyzstan, home to a U.S. and a Russian military base, has been volatile since 2005 when Bakiyev came to power after mass street protests ousted his long-serving predecessor.

Public criticism of Bakiyev has been on the rise as the impoverished ex-Soviet state struggles with a deepening economic crisis and energy shortages.

Reuters
Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2009, 14:16
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