Former Kyrgyzstan prime minister lose Parliament by-elections

A former foreign minister who spearheaded a popular uprising that brought the opposition to power in Kyrgyzstan, as well as the prime minister of the ousted government, have both lost a race for a vacant seat in Parliament, officials said Monday. According to preliminary results from Sunday's election, the seat was won with 52 percent of the votes by Janysh Kudaibergenov, a relative of businessman Jyrgalbek Surabaldiyev, a strong supporter of the ousted government who held the seat until he was shot dead by two unidentified assailants in June.

The preliminary results of the vote, in a constituency in the capital, Bishkek, indicated that ex-Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva received 28 percent of the vote and former Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev got 3 percent, the Central Election Commission said.

Otunbayeva had been a driving force behind the March 24 uprising in this ex-Soviet nation that ousted former President Askar Akayev and forced him and his family to flee to Russia.

She was appointed acting foreign minister afterward, but in September lawmakers rejected her nomination to the post. Tanayev's government was forced to resign following the uprising. He is currently under investigation on corruption charges.

Meanwhile, former Prosecutor General Azimbek Beknazarov, another leader of the March uprising, won a race for another vacant parliamentary seat in a southern Kyrgyzstan constituency with more than 88 percent of the votes.

He had been fired by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in September for allegedly failing to carry out his duties. Official results from Sunday's election were expected within 10 days, but they were not expected to differ significantly from the preliminary results, reports the AP. I.L.

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