Kyrgyzstan PM Sariyev resigns after cabinet accused of graft

Kyrgyzstan PM Sariyev resigns after cabinet accused of graft

BISHKEK - Reuters
Kyrgyzstan PM Sariyev resigns after cabinet accused of graft

Kyrgyzstan's Prime Minister Temir Sariyev stands during a signing ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in this file picture taken December 16, 2015 - Reuters photo

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev resigned on April 11 after a parliamentary commission accused his cabinet of corruption, a move highlighting tensions between different factions of President Almazbek Atambayev's supporters. 

"Squabbles, rumours and gossip have upset the balance within the government," Sariyev said. "The government's work has stalled at such a difficult time." 

A commission set up by the ex-Soviet republic's parliament said last week the government had broken the law, accusing it of having rigged a $100 million road construction tender to ensure it was given to a Chinese firm that lacked the required license. 

Sariyev, who has denied any wrongdoing, had asked Atambayev to sack Transport Minister Argynbek Malabayev, but Atambayev has refused to do so. 

Sariyev, 52, has run the Central Asian nation's government since last May, at the time when its economy has come under pressure from the recession in Russia and slowdowns in other neighbouring countries such as China and Kazakhstan. 

Social Democrats closely linked to Atambayev lead a coalition that dominates the parliament and also includes Kyrgyzstan, Onuguu-Progress and Ata Meken parties. 

The coalition, which controls 80 out of 120 seats in the legislature, will propose a new prime minister if Atambayev accepts Sariyev's resignation.