African-Kyrgyz Kickboxer Making Run for Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament

A campaign billboard of the Respublika Party features middleweight kickboxing champion Alene Ofoyo on a major thoroughfare in Bishkek. (Photo: Chris Rickleton)

Omurbek Babanov, leader of Kyrgyzstan’s nascent Respublika Party, used a knack for dealmaking during the early post-Soviet era to turn himself into one of Kyrgyzstan’s richest citizens. Now, he is trying to apply his savvy touch to politics.

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Chris Rickleton is a Bishkek-based journalist.

African-Kyrgyz Kickboxer Making Run for Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament

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