A day after the resignation of ex-president Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov has officially accepted the interim presidency of Kyrgyzstan. In addition, the parliament of the Central Asian country voted on Friday to end the state of emergency in the capital Bishkek.
Kyrgyzstan has been politically unstable for years
According to the Kyrgyz constitution, the new president must call new elections within three months. Japarov must not come back to power, says the same constitution.
The new Kyrgyz president himself was recently detained for involvement in the hostage-taking of a government official. After a political trial, according to Japarov, he was sentenced to eleven years in prison. His supporters brought this to an early end by freeing him from his cell during the riots.
With the appointment of the new president and the ending of the state of emergency, Kyrgyzstan hopes to end the unrest that arose after the parliamentary elections on October 4.
During the elections, only four of the sixteen participating parties reached the 7 percent electoral threshold. Three of these parties had close ties with ex-president Jeenbekov – reason for opponents to accuse the winners of ballot box fraud.
At least 120 people were injured in the protests that lasted for days and government buildings, including the parliament building, were stormed. The Kyrgyz Electoral Council declared the election results null and void during the unrest.
Kyrgyzstan, with a population of 6.5 million, has a turbulent recent political history: in the past 15 years, two presidents have been deposed and former president Almazbek Atambayev has been jailed after falling out with his successor.
Atambayev was temporarily released during the riots because protesters had freed him. He has since been arrested again.
Political instability in the country is a concern for Russia. The country has an air base in the former Soviet Republic. Moscow is already working hard on the conflict between two other allies: Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Kremlin described the situation in Kyrgyzstan as “a mess and chaos”.