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Kyrgyz Presidential Candidate Drops Out Of Race

Bishkek, 23 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- One of the contenders for the Kyrgyz presidency has announced he is dropping out of the race.

Businessman Jusupbek Sharipov issued a statement today saying he was withdrawing his candidacy for the 10 July election.

Sharipov said he made his decision after acting President Kurmanbek Bakiev and former security chief Feliks Kulov recently announced a cooperation deal.

Under their agreement, Kulov will become prime minister if Bakiev wins the presidential election.

Sharipov said that announcement had helped stabilize the political situation in Kyrgyzstan. He said he wanted to do his share in uniting the Kyrgyz nation by withdrawing from the race.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)