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Ousted Kyrgyz leader challenges government

From Maxim Tkachenko, CNN
Kyrgyzstan's ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev, pictured on Friday in Jalal-Abad, remained defiant.
Kyrgyzstan's ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev, pictured on Friday in Jalal-Abad, remained defiant.
  • Russia's Channel One: Bakiev says he has no plans to leave the country
  • Report: Bakiev says any attempt at his arrest would bring new wave of unrest
  • Otunbayeva, interim government head: Negotiations under way with Bakiev
  • More than 80 people were killed in civil unrest, Health Ministry says

(CNN) -- Ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who hadn't appeared in public since last week's anti-government riots in the capital, is calling on his supporters to mobilize, a major Russian network reported.

Bakiev addressed a rally of supporters Monday in his native village near the city of Jalal-Abad in the country's south, Russia's Channel One TV reported. The deposed leader fled there after demonstrators in Bishkek took over the main government offices in the capital, including the presidential palace, burning and looting along their path.

Surrounded by relatives and villagers, Bakiev said any attempt at his arrest by new authorities would only being a new wave of unrest to the troubled mountainous central Asian country, the network reported.

Meanwhile, the office of the prosecutor general, brought a number of criminal charges Monday against relatives and associated of Bakiev. Among the defendants are his brother, who is chief of his personal security details and who investigators believe ordered to shoot at demonstrators. Bakiev's son, former chairman of the state national security service, was also charged.

The protests began Tuesday in the northern city of Talas. They were sparked by increases in electricity and fuel rates, which had gone up at the first of the year as Bakiev's government sold public utilities to companies controlled by his friends.

Demonstrations spread to the capital Wednesday after the government arrested opposition leaders in Talas

More than 80 people were killed in the civil unrest, according to the Health Ministry.

Video: What next for Kyrgyzstan?

The old and the new authorities -- the ousted president who has lost much power and the interim government which lacks enough legitimacy or authority -- have locked horns, but are anxious to avoid force in a political settlement.

At Monday's rally, Bakiev said he has no plans to leave the country and hasn't ruled out talks with the new government.

"The sooner the negotiating process begins, the better it is for the country -- to avoid the deterioration of the situation. Unlike all those opposition figures, it is I who is the president. I won't not distribute arms to these people and tell them to march towards Bishkek," he said, according to Channel One.

"We will not allow this to happen," he said.

Russian TV said Bakiev plans to hold a bigger rally in the town of Jalal-Abad on Tuesday.

The head of the interim government, Roza Otunbayeva, told local and international reporters in Bishkek that Bakiev has placed himself "outside the law" with his recent actions.

"Bakiev is in a moral and ideological impasse. The authorities hope Bakiev will understand that he has no way out," she said.

But she admitted that there are negotiations under way between the interim government and Bakiev about his political future.

"He asked us what he would get in exchange. We are considering possible options," she said.

The new government doesn't want to escalate tensions "to prevent new casualties, as we realize our responsibility," she said.

The European Union will not assist negotiations between the Kyrgyz interim administration and Bakiev, EU envoy Pierre Morel said in Bishkek on Monday.

And the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek said it has no plans to "shelter Mr. Bakiev or help him leave Kyrgyzstan," according to a statement on its Web site Monday.