BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- More political leaders threw their support behind Kyrgyzstan's newly elected parliament yesterday in a bid to restore stability to this impoverished Central Asian nation after the ouster of President Aska Akayev.
It remained to be seen whether the move would be accepted by opposition supporters, whose violent protests over alleged voting irregularities in parliamentary elections chased Akayev from the country Thursday.
But a crowd of protesters dispersed peacefully after interim leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev, a former prime minister who joined the opposition to Akayev, promised that allegations of electoral abuses would be dealt with.
Bakiyev also called for a formal resignation by Akayev, who had been in power since 1990, when this nation of 5 million people was still a Soviet republic. There were still conflicting accounts of the former leader's whereabouts.
Kyrgyzstan's acting prosecutor general, Azimbek Beknazarov, said the fugitive president was in neighboring Kazakhstan and negotiating with Bakiyev and members of the new parliament. The state news agency Kabar said it had unconfirmed information he was still in Russia.
''President Akayev has kept silent until now. I believe [he] should address his people and announce his decision," Bakiyev told demonstrators.
He spoke to the crowd after recognizing the new parliament as legitimate, which he did after that body named him prime minister.
Both the new parliament and the old legislature have been vying to retain control, with both meeting on different floors of the same building. The former upper house remained defiant yesterday, but the 45-member lower chamber suspended its activity and called on the upper house to do the same.
Bakiyev's decision to back the new parliament came after other opposition leaders swung their support to the body, and its new speaker warned that the lawmakers might declare Bakiyev's appointment as interim leader unconstitutional.
''Today we need to take a political decision," Bakiyev said in endorsing the new parliament. ''You started your work. In accordance with the constitution, the two-chamber [previous] parliament should finish its work."
Hundreds of demonstrators outside the parliament building called recognition of the new legislature a betrayal. The opposition had accused Akayev's regime of manipulating parliamentary elections in February and March to give him a compliant legislature -- which would amend the constitution to allow another term.
''The new parliament is illegitimate," said protester Adylbek Kasimov, who carried two pages of typed demands, topped by a call for the dissolution of the newly elected department. ''The dirty election is on their conscience."
Bakiyev spoke to the crowd with a bullhorn and encouraged them to go home, promising that courts would look into electoral violations recorded in voting for about 20 of the new parliament's 75 seats. The protesters then drifted away without incident.
Bakiyev told lawmakers that he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and all three expressed support for his government and offered assistance.