Kyrgyz politician 'hurt in attack'

Leader of political party critical of current president's policies says assailants intended to "shoot" him.

    Only five of 29 parties contesting the poll won seats in parliament, setting the stage for heated horse-trading [EPA]

    The leader of a Kyrgyz nationalist party that gained more votes than expected during this month's election has claimed he was injured in an assassination attempt.

    Kamchibek Tashiyev, head of the Ata-Zhurt party, made the claim on Saturday in central Bishkek, the capital of  Kyrgyzstan, where he appeared before the media with a bandaged hand and several fingers covered in dried blood.

    "They broke in like bandits ... I think they intended to shoot me," Tashiyev said, showing the bandaged hand.

    "I believe they tried to eliminate me - the forces that want to cancel election results and impose a state of emergency. I know for sure, GSNB [security service] was behind these actions."

    Tashiyev, whose party has been staunchly critical of interim leader Roza Otunbayeva's plans to create a parliamentary republic in Kyrgyzstan, said his home in suburban Bishkek was attacked by about 50 men and that he was beaten with the bottom of a handgun.

    Only five of 29 parties contesting the October 10 poll won seats in the former Soviet state's parliament. More than 60 per cent of voters cast ballots for parties that failed to cross the five per cent threshold qualifying them to enter parliament.

    Tashiyev's party won 8.8 per cent of votes, and analysts predict heated horse-trading to form a governing coalition, especially since parliament will be the country's main decision-making body, wielding more power than the president.

    Otunbayeva says she will remain in office until December 31, 2011. She has been in power since a bloody revolt which deposed Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the-then president, in April.

    Poll complaints

    The claims of an assassination attempt come just days after the Butun Kyrgyzstan Party, which finished sixth, accused the authorities of cheating it of seats and threatened protests.
       
    Kyrgyzstan's central election commission, which has yet to announce final official results, called last week for verification of the protocols from many polling stations after Butun Kyrgyzstan complained of fraud.

    Kyrgyzstan's security service has yet to comment on Tashiyev's claim about the attack, and Interfax news agency quoted the agency's spokesman as saying it had nothing to do with the incident.

    But Aibek Turgunbayev, the country's deputy prosecutor, told the Associated Press news agency that Tashiyev may have been hurt in a "scuffle provoked by his bodyguards".

    The official said he could not confirm that the politician had been targeted in an attack by outsiders.

    Tashiyev's accusation is bound to add to the instability sparked by the violent overthrow of its president in April and the worst ethnic violence in its modern history when 400 people were killed in June.

    The mainly Muslim nation, divided regionally and ethnically and lying on a drug-trafficking route out of Afghanistan, has shown in the past five years how easily it can slide into violence.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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