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Tajikistan: Aspiring Opposition Leader Arrested

Across the former Soviet Union, entrepreneurs may be skilled in the art of making money, but they soon find themselves out of their depth when it comes to the business of politics.

The poster boy for the inadvisability of trying to make the cross-over from business to politics is, of course, Mikhail Khordokovsky, the one-time Russian oil magnate who has been imprisoned since 2005. There is also the example of Kazakhstan’s Mukhtar Abylyazov, a co-founder of the Democratic Choice Movement that briefly challenged President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s authority in the early 2000s. Ablyazov is now in exile, hounded by a protracted and expensive embezzlement case against him.

The latest example of an oligarch falling on hard times after challenging established authority is Tajikistan’s Zaid Saidov, a well-known businessman and former minister of industry who was detained May 19 at Dushanbe Airport upon arrival from a trip abroad. He is facing embezzlement and polygamy charges.

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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan

Tajikistan: Aspiring Opposition Leader Arrested

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