Tajik MPs fail to oust president

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The Independent Online
DUSHANBE (AP) - The Tajikistan legislature failed yesterday to muster a quorum to remove the country's hardline president, and four former Soviet republics said they would send troops to Tajikistan's southern border with Afghanistan. Only 80 MPs turned up for the session, called to resolve the constitutional crisis in the Central Asian nation - 154 were needed.

The session was rescheduled for today, and MPs predicted a higher turn-out. Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, are sending troops to the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border to stop arms smuggling, said Igor Romanov, spokesman for the Kazakh government, which issued this statement: 'Escalation of civil war in the republic is threatening the security of our nations and must not be permitted.'