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Kyrgyz Deputies Cited For Managing Businesses

Parliament deputy Akylbek Japarov admits that some politicians may push for tax breaks to benefit their businesses.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan analysts say some parliament deputies have business interests that are prohibited by the constitution, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Melis Satybekov, the deputy chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Natural Resources Ministry, told RFE/RL on July 13 that there is a danger that those deputies with businesses will lobby for their own commercial interests.

Cholponkul Arabaev, director of the Kyrgyz Personnel Service, told RFE/RL that the law on public service and the constitution forbids not only members of parliament but all public officials from running businesses.

Arabaev added that upon entry to a public office in Kyrgyzstan a person must give up the management of his/her business.

Azamat Arapbaev, a deputy from the Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) parliamentary group, told RFE/RL he thinks his ownership of construction-material businesses does not violate the law because he is no longer in charge of them.

He said he handed over the management duties of the businesses -- which sells cement, coal, and gravel -- as soon as he was elected to the parliament last year.

Akylbek Japarov, a deputy of the opposition Ar-Namys (Dignity) party, told RFE/RL that he does not exclude the possibility that some deputies active in businesses will lobby for and negotiate tax breaks for certain economic sectors to benefit their companies.

A former Kyrgyz mining industry worker who asked to remain anonymous said that many officials own gold companies and use parliament deputies to lobby for the interests of gold companies.

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