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Kyrgyz Parliament Deputies Publicly Apologize For Scuffle

Kyrgyz deputy Kamchybek Tashiev has said he is sorry for trading punches with his colleague Altynbek Sulaimanov, who has also apologized.
BISHKEK -- Two Kyrgyz parliament deputies today publicly apologized for their fistfight in parliament earlier this month, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kamchybek Tashiev and Altynbek Sulaimanov traded punches in the parliament chamber on April 1 after Tashiev said his party would quit the coalition government if corruption accusations against the head of Sulaimanov's party were proven to be true.

Tashiev and Sulaimanov exchanged traditional Kyrgyz robes (chapan-chepken) and hats (ak-kalpak) today to affirm their reconciliation, and apologized to Kyrgyz society for the possible ramifications of their dust-up.

Tashiev is leader of the Ata-Jurt (Homeland) party parliament faction. Sulaimanov represents the Respublika (Republic) party of Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov.

On April 11, Kyrgyz security chief Keneshbek Duishebaev told journalists that 10 pistols and one AK-47 assault rifle were found in the parliament building after the two deputies exchanged punches.

Duishebaev said several burly young men appeared in the parliament building after the fight between Tashiev and Sulaimanov. Security officers then began checking everyone entering and leaving the building and found the guns, some of which belonged to Ar-Namys (Dignity) party leader Feliks Kulov, a former interior minister and national security minister.

On April 1, former Prosecutor-General Kubatbek Baibolov, who was sacked the previous day, said he has evidence of Babanov's involvement in illegal financial activities.

Read more in Kyrgyz here