Kyrgyz opposition leader arrested on corruption charges

The State Committee for National Security (GKNB) said Omurbek Tekebayev, who leads the nominally socialist Ata-Meken party, was detained on Sunday after landing at the country's airport.

Kyrgyz opposition leader arrested on corruption charges

World Bulletin / News Desk

A veteran opposition leader in Kyrgyzstan was arrested on corruption charges, security services said Sunday, as political tensions mount in the Central Asian country ahead of a November presidential poll.

The opposition leader, a bitter adversary of incumbent President Almazbek Atambayev, will be held for at least 48 hours in connection with an investigation into corruption at a key telecoms company, the statement said.

While ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan is the most democratic country in a region dominated by long-ruling strongmen, it has also been the most politically volatile in recent times.

The country experienced two revolutions that unseated presidents in 2005 and 2010 followed by ethnic violence that left over 400 dead.

Tekebayev's arrest comes after two of his party colleagues were questioned for four and nearly nine hours respectively in unrelated corruption cases earlier this month.

The Ata-Meken party strongly opposed a referendum on constitutional changes in December that was driven by Atambayev's office.

Atambayev is constitutionally restricted to a single six-year term and says he has no intention of easing into the office of prime minister, a position whose powers were boosted by the recent constitutional changes.

Tekebayev, 58, also recently called for Atambayev to be impeached and demanded authorities to check the president and his family members for evidence of corruption.

The Ata-Meken leader has so far not declared his intention to run in the presidential vote set for November 19.

Two former prime ministers have announced their candidacies for the ballot that unlike other votes in Central Asia, will be keenly contested.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Şubat 2017, 09:57