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Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court rejects petition to put imprisoned opposition leader on ballot

[JURIST] Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court [official website, in Kyrgyz] on Thursday upheld the rejection of a petition to put opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev on the ballot for the October presidential election. Tekebaev was convicted [RFE/RL report] earlier this month for accepting bribes, which his party believes is a false conviction by the ruling party. He is currently serving eight years in prison. Although the petition collected about 39,000 signatures (9,000 more than required), the Central Election Commission said the signatures were invalid because the petition was not financed by Tekebaev's election fund.

In December Kyrgzystan voted to amend the constitution to increase government power after the Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court in September voted [JURIST reports] in favor of holding a constitutional referendum that would give more power to the country's prime minister. In January 2016 a spokesperson for the Kyrgyzstan government discussed [JURIST report] with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty proposed legislation that would allow the Kyrgyz government to shut down media outlets without requiring a court decision.

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