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Kyrgyzstan: Ruling Party Expels Free-Thinking MP

One of the youngest and most active members of Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has been expelled from the pro-presidential Social-Democratic Party (SDPK).

The SDPK’s political council explained on March 24 that the views of Zhanar Akayev, 31, had drifted too far from its official platform.

The speculation is that the decision was taken following Akayev’s decision to participate in a march last weekend in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, in defense of media outlets being sued by the General Prosecutor’s Office on behalf of President Almazbek Atamabayev.

Akayev has said that he is not taking the expulsion to heart and that his colleagues were most likely “fulfilling an order” — implying the instruction was handed down by the president’s office.

“A person that tells the truth but who finds himself among liars and sycophants will always be considered an extremist,” he said.

In a previous life, Akayev worked for RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz service, Radio Azattyk, which is one of the outlets facing the libel lawsuits. He has regularly spoken in defense of his old employer despite Atambayev’s recurring criticism.

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Kyrgyzstan: Ruling Party Expels Free-Thinking MP

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