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Kyrgyz Opposition Fears Russian Money Will Be Used For Election

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev
BISHKEK (RFE/RL) -- The Kyrgyz opposition fears that President Kurmanbek Bakiev might use money from a Russian loan to fund his personal reelection campaign this summer.

Kyrgyz Deputy Finance Minister Said Zulpuev told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that the first $150 million tranche of a multibillion dollar Russian loan to Kyrgyzstan arrived in Bishkek on March 31.

Opposition Ak Shumkar (White Falcon) party leader Temir Sariev told RFE/RL that no one can guarantee that Bakiev will not use money from the loan for his presidential campaign ahead of the July 23 election.

He added that the Kyrgyz government does not provide any transparency for the spending of international loans.

According to the Kyrgyz-Russian agreement on mutual cooperation signed by Bakiev and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on February 3, the total amount of Moscow's loans and grants to Bishkek is some $2.1 billion.