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Kyrgyz Opposition Alleges Deputy Premier Met With Ousted President

Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov
Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov
BISHKEK -- An opposition Kyrgyz parliament deputy has urged prosecutors to investigate reports of alleged secret talks between First Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov and ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev and one of his sons, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Since Bakiev was ousted on the heels of a bloody crackdown in April 2010, there have been persistent allegations that he or people loyal to him have sought to destabilize the successor government.

Erkin Alymbekov, a member of the opposition Ata-Meken (Homeland) parliament faction, gave deputies printed reports by the Kazakhstan-Review News Agency about Babanov's alleged association with Bakiev and his son Maksim and asked fellow parliament members to investigate them.

The reports say Babanov's Respublika party, which is a member of the coalition government, has been sponsored by Maksim and some of his closest associates.

Kurmanbek Bakiev has been living in Belarus since his ouster a year ago. His purported talks with Babanov were said to have taken place either in Minsk or Moscow. Babanov served under Bakiev as first deputy prime minister.

Maksim held several powerful positions in Kyrgyzstan under his father and is believed to be living in England. Both are wanted by Kyrgyz officials for corruption and giving orders to security forces to shoot on protesters during the antigovernment demonstrations that led to the president's ouster.

The Kyrgyz parliament established a special commission last week to investigate corruption allegations against Babanov.

On April 13, Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev accepted Babanov's temporary resignation until the commission clears him of wrongdoing.

Dosaly Esenaliev, the chairman of Respublika's executive committee, told RFE/RL that the reports about Babanov's association with Bakiev's family members are baseless.

He dismissed them as "black PR" intended to damage Babanov's reputation in the run-up to the presidential election scheduled for the fall.

Read more in Kyrgyz