Supporters of detained opposition politician Omurbek Tekebayev, the leader of the Ata Meken (Fatherland) party, hold a rally in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov
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A veteran opposition leader in Kyrgyzstan was arrested on corruption charges Sunday, sparking nationwide protests as political tensions mount ahead of presidential elections in November.The opposition leader, a bitter adversary of incumbent President Almazbek Atambayev, will be held for at least 48 hours in connection with an investigation into corruption at a key telecoms company, the statement said.More demonstrations of between 20 and 250 people took place in other towns, including in the south where Tekebayev is from.Fresh protests are planned in front of the GKNB headquarters on Monday, he said.Atambayev is constitutionally restricted to a single six-year term and says he has no intention of easing into the office of prime minister, a position whose powers were boosted by the recent constitutional changes.
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