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Another Kyrgyz Opposition Leader Charged With Corruption


Almambet Shykmamatov

BISHKEK -- Another leader of Kyrgyzstan's opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party has been charged with corruption.

The State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said on March 27 that lawmaker Almambet Shykmamatov is suspected of fraud while serving as an auditor at the State Accounting Chamber in 2011.

According to the UKMK, Shykmamatov was charged with corruption and ordered not to leave the country while investigations are under way.

Shykmamatov, who is currently serving as Ata-Meken's acting chairman, is one of at least five members of the opposition party facing potential prosecution in the Central Asian nation on what they contend are trumped-up charges.

Ata-Meken leader Omurbek Tekebaev, a former parliament speaker and a vocal opponent of President Almazbek Atambaev, has been held at the UKMK's detention center since late February while being investigated on suspicion of bribe-taking and fraud.

Supporters of Tekebaev believe the investigation is aimed at preventing him from running for president in November.

Atambaev is constitutionally barred from running for reelection as president, and opponents accuse him of seeking to maintain a hold on power by pushing for constitutional changes that were approved in a referendum in December.

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