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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputies Fail to Accept Akayev's Resignation

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz-stan's parliament failed to gather enough lawmakers Tuesday to accept the resignation of President Askar Akayev, leaving the ousted leader still technically in power and continuing the country's political crisis.

Kyrgyz officials had pushed hard to secure Akayev's resignation, seeing it as a significant step toward restoring political order and giving a stamp of legitimacy to a new leadership that rose to power less than two weeks ago amid widespread chaos.

Failure to muster a quorum for such a key event underlined the unstable politics in the country since the longtime leader's ouster March 24 when protesters stormed his office.

The legislature fell two short of the 50 deputies it needed to form a quorum and accept a resignation letter that Akayev signed Monday at the Kyrgyz Embassy in Moscow in the presence of a Kyrgyz parliamentary delegation.

The resignation was to have been presented to the 75-member Jogorku Kenesh on Tuesday. Lawmakers also planned to watch an 18-minute taped farewell message from Akayev.

But members of the parliamentary delegation that witnessed Akayev signing the letter in Moscow were among the lawmakers who failed to turn up Tuesday, while pro-Akayev lawmakers were among those who attended -- adding to the confusion.

Lawmaker Temir Sariyev denied any political motives to the session's collapse, while some observers pointed to a lack of discipline. The newly elected parliament has repeatedly failed to muster the minimum number of lawmakers needed to hold a session. Omurbek Tekebayev, a longtime Akayev foe who led the parliamentary delegation to Moscow, told reporters he was not concerned by the delay, noting that many lawmakers simply were not in Bishkek, the capital.

Tekebayev, who was chosen as parliament's speaker after Akayev's ouster, said the session would consider former leader's resignation Wednesday.

Asked whether the delay meant that Akayev is still the legitimate president, Tekebayev said: "The parliament has not accepted his resignation yet."

He also noted that the parliament had other options -- including rejecting the resignation and launching impeachment proceedings against Akayev.