(Prague, Czech Republic--April 1, 2005) Ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev gave exclusive interviews to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Kyrgyz and Russian Services today, outlining conditions under which he would be prepared to resign. He spoke by phone from an undisclosed location in Russia to Prague-based journalists for both services.
Akayev said he would like to return to Kyrgyzstan and help stabilize the situation there. "I am not holding on to power, I am willing to resign, provided I am given full privileges and guarantees according to the constitution," he said.
Akayev then gave a list of conditions that included guarantees for his children and affirmation of the validity of the recent election of his son and daughter to the Kyrgyz parliament. Alleged irregularities and fraud in the February 27 parliamentary election were the main factor in continuing and spreading demonstrations in the country that culminated March 24 with protesters storming government buildings in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek and Akayev's subsequent flight to Russia.
Akayev said he was willing to negotiate with a Kyrgyz parliamentary commission formed for that purpose in "a neutral setting." RFE/RL has learned that Bishkek and Moscow have been ruled out as sites for such negotiations, but a precise location remains to be determined.
If his demands are met, Akayev told RFE/RL, he would return to Bishkek and officially resign in the parliament building so that the transition of power follows Kyrgyz law.
During the half-hour, at times rambling interview, Akayev said with bitterness and anger that the event was "a coup d'etat, not a revolution" and called the protesters "criminals and drug users." He expressed regret that he had given more attention as president to the economy and not, as he said, to strengthening security forces that would have prevented his ouster.
An English-language summary of the Akayev interview with RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service can be found on RFE/RL's website
RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service broadcasts 5 hours of programming a day to the Kyrgyz Republic, via satellite and shortwave signals and AM, FM and UKV frequencies provided by local affiliate stations. RFE/RL's Russian Service broadcasts are on the air 24 hours of a day, seven days a week, via shortwave, satellite and AM and FM signals provided by local affiliate stations in Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Ukraine. Kyrgyz Service and Russian Service programming are also available via the Internet, at www.rferl.org