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Kyrgyz Prime Minister Resigns Over Corruption Probe

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Muhammedkalyi Abylgaziev announced his resignation, saying the government "must enjoy the full confidence of citizens." (file photo)

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev has resigned, citing an ongoing criminal investigation into the assignment of national radio frequencies.

Abylgaziev announced his resignation in a statement on June 15, saying: "I have nothing to do with this case, and the accusations made against me have no basis."

Noting he hadn’t been questioned, Abylgaziev said the corruption probe undermined trust in the government and limited its ability to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"In today's difficult conditions, when the country confronts the threat of coronavirus infection and struggles with its impact on the economy, the government must work in a state of stability and enjoy the full confidence of citizens," Abylgaziev said.

Lawmakers had raised suspicions over his involvement in the suspect sale of radio frequencies involving a leading cable television company and a major telecoms company, even though he has not been named as a suspect by the investigators.

Abylgaziev took a two-week leave of absence on May 27 "in order to avoid accusations of exerting any pressure on the course of the investigation."

He was appointed as prime minister by President Sooronbai Jeenbekov in April 2018.

Jeenbekov's Social Democratic Party leads a majority coalition in parliament, which must now nominate a new prime minister.

With reporting by AFP
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