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Former Kyrgyz Premier Criticizes Elections, Corruption

Kyrgyz protesters on 28 February Bishkek, 2 March 2005 (NCA) -- A former Kyrgyz prime minister today criticized Sunday's election in Kyrgyzstan.

Tursunbek Chyngyshev told RFE/RL in an interview from Bishkek that the election was unfair and undemocratic.

Chyngyshev also said that corruption in Kyrgyzstan has become widespread and government efforts to fight it have been inefficient: "These days, in 2005, authorities cannot resolve the issue of fighting corruption because if they start to jail corrupt people saying 'don't steal,' then they might get killed. Corruption is widespread now. It has become like a multiple-headed hydra. If you cut off one head, then the other eight heads will appear. [For this government], fighting corruption results in nothing."

This is the first time that Chyngyshev has openly criticized the current government. He was sacked by the Kyrgyz parliament in connection with a corruption scandal on 13 December 1993.

(RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service)

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