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Controversial Kyrgyz Election Winner May Be Denied Seat

Election Commission head Tuigunaly Abdyraimov (file photo) (RFE/RL) April 10, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The chairman of Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission, Tuigunaly Abdyraimov, said the country's parliament will have to decide if alleged criminal figure Rysbek Akmatbaev can take a seat in parliament, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Abdyraimov said there was a contradiction in the election laws.

"According to Article 28, his case cannot be considered in court because he is a candidate," he said. "This is the contradiction we are facing. We will ask the parliament for clarification of his legal discrepancy."

Akmatbaev won a by-election yesterday, but is still under investigation for murder. According to Kyrgyzstan's election code, no person can sit in parliament if they are under criminal investigation.

If Akmatbaev were allowed to officially take up his seat in parliament he would receive parliamentiary immunity from investigation or prosecution.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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