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Kyrgyzstan: After Defeat, Former Osh Mayor Tells Thousands He’ll Return

Thousands of supporters of southern strongman Melisbek Myrzakmatov rallied in Kyrgyzstan’s second-largest city, Osh, on January 15 to protest his defeat in mayoral elections. 

A controversial figure who has long opposed central authorities in far-off Bishkek, Myrzakmatov was fired last month after appearing to support an anti-government protest. 

Over the following weeks, Myrzakmatov somehow lost his support in the Osh city legislature, which voted 25-19 against the former mayor. He alleges the vote was rigged and says his backers were intimidated. Supporters and opponents alike believe the central government engineered his removal. 

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Kyrgyzstan: After Defeat, Former Osh Mayor Tells Thousands He’ll Return

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