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You're reading: Kyrgyz party accuses prime minister of taking horse as bribe

BISHKEK — A party in Kyrgyzstan's fragile ruling coalition has accused the prime minister of granting government contracts in exchange for a racehorse.

The
Ata-Meken party said Monday, Aug. 13, they would seek to pass a no-confidence
motion in parliament against Omurbek Babanov, possibly fueling political
instability in the turbulent Central Asian nation.

Party deputy
Zhoomart Saparbayev said a company that secured a building contract at
the country’s main airport imported the horse, valued at between
$500,000 and $1.5 million, without paying import duties. The party says
it has learned the horse now belongs to Babanov.

The airport hosts a U.S. military base serving as a key hub for operations in Afghanistan.

Babanov’s office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The premier has staked his reputation on fighting graft in the corruption-ridden ex-Soviet nation.

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