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Kyrgyz Court Upholds Ban On Oppositionist's Parliament Bid

Bishkek, 14 January 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court today upheld a regional court's verdict preventing a former Kyrgyz ambassador from competing for a seat in the country's parliament in February.

A Sokuluk regional court had ruled that former Ambassador to Turkey Medetkan Sherimkulov is ineligible for the legislative elections because he has not resided in Kyrgyzstan for each of the last five years.

Sherimkulov, who is also a former speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament, is one of three prominent opposition leaders challenging rulings that would keep them out of the running for parliamentary seats due to the residency requirement.

Sherimkulov argued that he was not in Kyrgyzstan because he was serving the state in his capacity as ambassador to Ankara.

Former Kyrgyz ambassador to Malaysia Mambetzhunus Abylov appealed today to a Karakul city court against a similar decision barring him from running in February's elections.

Former Foreign Minister and Kyrgyz Ambassador to the United States, Canada, and Britain Roza Otunbaeva, also barred from participation in the elections, is also seeking to have such a decision overturned.