Kyrgyzstan's triumphant opposition scrambled Friday to restore order in a capital described as "gone mad" with looting and vandalism, and named a leader of the rebellion acting president after driving President Askar Akayev from power.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev emerged from the Parliament building and said he had been named acting prime minister and president.
Bakiyev's appointment as acting president was endorsed in a late-night session by a newly restored parliament of lawmakers who held seats before this year's disputed elections, which fueled protests against Akayev and his government.
Akayev, whose whereabouts were unknown after fleeing the Central Asian country with his family, denied he had resigned, according to Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency.
"My current stay outside the country is temporary," said Akayev, who ruled Kyrgyzstan for 15 years. "Rumors of my resignation are deliberate, malicious lies."
Felix Kulov, an opposition leader now heading Kyrgyzstan's law enforcement agencies, said Akayev had fled to a foreign country after being turned away by Russia. The Interfax news agency said Akayev and his family were in neighboring Kazakhstan.
"He had a chance to resign, but he fled," said Kulov, a longtime Akayev opponent who was released from prison during Thursday's turmoil. "He wanted to go to Russia, but the Russians didn't accept him."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said, however, that the Kremlin wouldn't object if Akayev wants to go to Russia. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said Moscow doesn't know where Akayev is.
So who's in charge in Kyrazystan and for how long?