Kyrgyz president resigns after riots over controversial election results

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Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has resigned. The pro-Russian Yeenbekov was under fire over a controversial election result that has been annulled by the electoral council.

Kyrgyzstan has been politically unstable for years

A total of sixteen parties participated in the elections on October 4, but the results showed that only four of the parties had reached the 7 percent electoral threshold. Three of them had close ties with Jeenbekov.

After the election results were announced, mass demonstrations took place in various places in Kyrgyzstan. Thousands of people took to the streets and in the capital Bishkek, the parliament and government building, among other things, were taken.

Jeenbekov hopes his departure will end the turmoil. At least 600 people have been injured and one person has died so far.

The president’s departure comes at a striking time. On Wednesday, representatives of Jeenbekov had reported that he would only step down after new elections.

The twelve parties that would not have passed the electoral threshold took this message with a grain of salt. They are convinced that large-scale votes were bought to manipulate the elections.

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.

Former president Atambayev was temporarily released during the riots after 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: Belarus and Armenia. The Kremlin described the situation in Kyrgyzstan as “a mess and chaos”.

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