Kyrgyzstan’s state security service said it detained opposition politician Omurbek Tekebayev on Sunday on charges of corruption and fraud, a move that may eliminate him as a contender for presidency in the upcoming election.
Tekebayev, 58, leads the Ata Meken (Fatherland) party’s parliamentary faction and is one of the most outspoken critics of President Almazbek Atambayev, whose term ends this year.
The Kyrgyzstan will hold a presidential election on 19 November 2017.
The state security service made a statement, declaring the detention upon airport arrival from Turkey. In a separate statement, the prosecutor general’s office revealed it suspected Tekebayev of accepting a $1 million bribe from a Russian investor in 2010.
Tekebayev, who was then a senior member of provisional government, promised the investor he would be able to take over a local telecommunications company, prosecutors said.Kanybek Imanaliyev, a member of parliament from Tekebayev’s Ata Meken (Socialist party), said he denied any wrongdoing.