Pro-Government Kyrgyz Lawmaker Charged With Corruption

March 31, 2017 18:59 UTC

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

BISHKEK -- A pro-government lawmaker in Kyrgyzstan has been charged with corruption, becoming at least the sixth high-profile figure to face such charges in the Central Asian country in the last two months.

The State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said on March 31 that Muzaffar Isakov, a lawmaker representing the pro-presidential Social Democratic Party, had been ordered not to leave Bishkek while investigations against him are under way.

Isakov is accused of having been involved in an illegal property-distribution scheme while governing a town in the southern region of Jalal-Abad between 2010 and 2015.

Although six people have been charged with corruption in recent weeks, Isakov is the first from a party included in Kyrgyzstan's ruling coalition.

In the last five weeks, the leader of the opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party, Omurbek Tekebaev, and at least four of members of the party were charged with corruption as well.

Tekebaev's supporters believe the investigation is aimed at preventing him from running for president in November.

President Almazbek Atambaev is barred from running for another term because the constitution only allows presidents to serve one seven-year term.

Opponents accuse Atambaev of seeking to maintain his hold on power by means of constitutional changes that were approved in a referendum in December. Those amendments shifted key powers from the president to the prime minister.