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Kyrgyz Election Official Arrested On Fraud Charge

The Central Election Commission building in Bishkek
The Central Election Commission building in Bishkek

BISHKEK -- A member of Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission, Akylbek Eshimov, has been arrested on a fraud charge.

The Birinchi Mai district court in Bishkek ordered on September 13 that Eshimov stay in pretrial detention until at least November 11.

The State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said last week that Eshimov was detained on suspicion of large fraudulent activities.

According to the UKMK, Eshimov received $550,000 as a bribe from a member of the Kyrgyzstan Party in June last year in exchange for securing his candidacy in the parliamentary poll.

After the promise was not met, Eshimov, who has been a member of the Central Election Commission since 2016, returned $300,000 to the politician and refused to return the remainder. The politician then turned to law enforcement.

The Central Election Commission has said that it cannot get involved in the process of nominating candidates on political parties' behalf.

The elections were held on October 4, 2020, with the Kyrgyzstan Party reaching the threshold of 7 percent support to get seats in the parliament.

However, the elections results were cancelled following anti-government protests that led to the resignation of the government and then President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.