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Kyrgyz Presidential Candidate Riled By 'Bribe' Leaflets

Kamchybek Tashiev, leader of the Ata-Jurt party's parliamentary group

Kamchybek Tashiev, leader of the Ata-Jurt party's parliamentary group

BISHKEK -- The spokesman for a prominent Kyrgyz presidential hopeful has described as a provocation leaflets accusing the candidate of accepting a multimillion-dollar bribe from a rival to quit the race, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The leaflets, distributed on October 23 night in the southern town of Kochkor-Ata, accused Kamchybek Tashiev of receiving $5 million from Almazbek Atambaev to withdraw his candidacy in the October 30 election.

Tashiev's press secretary, Nurgazy Anarkulov, told RFE/RL that similar leaflets were distributed over the weekend in the southern towns of Nookat and Nooken, and in the northern Issyk-Kul district.

Anarkulov called the incident a provocation "organized by Tashiev's opponents." Anarkulov said the meeting between the two men mentioned in the leaflets never took place. He added that the police in Kochkor-Ata refused to accept an official complaint and request by Tashiev to investigate the incident.

Nooken District Election Commission Chairman Makhmatjunus Toktoraliev told RFE/RL he knows nothing about the leaflets.

Tashiev is one of 19 candidates seeking the presidency. A former Emergency Situations minister, he heads the Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party parliament faction. Earlier this year, he was involved in a punch-up in parliament involving fellow deputy Bakhadyr Suleimanov.

Read more in Kyrgyz here