Former Kzyrgyzstan president fears division after elections

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Moscow (dpa) - Former Kzyrgyzstan president Askar Akayev warned Wednesday about the danger of his central Asian country being split up in the aftermath of Sunday's forthcoming presidential elections.

The toppled former leader, speaking in Moscow where he is in exile, told the Interfax agency that there could be serious regional conflicts if the election alliance between President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and former secret service chief Felix Kulov breaks apart.

Akayev urged voters in Kzyrgyzstan to support Bakiyev and Kulov, even though he himself was toppled from power in unrest by supporters of those two politicians at the end of March.

His comments came as political analysts in Moscow said they regarded the Bakiyev-Kulov team as a politically pragmatic alliance, with Bakiyev expected to be the sure winner of the July 10 vote.

Kulov is from the northern part of Kzyrgyzstan, while Bakiyev gets his support from the chiefly Islamic southern region.

Akayev had governed the former Soviet republic since 1991 before he fled the country on March 24 in the face of massive public protests amid allegations of voting fraud and corruption in office. dpa sv ds

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