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JAILED OPPOSITION FIGURE PLANS RUN FOR PRESIDENT

An opposition figure jailed by ousted President Askar Akayev said Friday he would run for Kyrgyzstan's presidency, setting up what could be a brutal showdown against the acting leader of the Central Asian state shaken by last week's uprising.

Felix Kulov was released from prison last week when protesters stormed the government headquarters and opposition leaders seized power.

Kulov, who was widely seen as a political prisoner, is among the best-known opponents of Akayev. He said he expects to be cleared soon of the charges against him, allowing him to enter the June 26 presidential race.

Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev also has announced plans to run.

The uprising was fueled by long-burning resentment over alleged corruption and living standards in the impoverished nation. It was further stoked by ire over the February and March parliamentary elections, which the opposition said were rigged to fill the 75-member legislature with pro-Akayev lawmakers.

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