Politics, World, Asia - Pacific

Kyrgyzstan's president steps down amid unrest

Sooronbay Jeenbekov announces resignation after weeks of protests against Oct. 4 parliamentary vote

Nazir Aliyev Tayfur   | 15.10.2020
Kyrgyzstan's president steps down amid unrest

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan 

Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbay Jeenbekov announced his resignation amid weeks of unrest, the presidential press service said on Thursday.

In a statement released by his office, Jeenbekov said he valued peace in Kyrgyzstan, the country’s integrity, the unity of the people, and tranquility in the society above all.

His resignation comes as the turmoil in the wake of the Oct. 4 parliamentary elections continue.

"There is nothing more precious to me than the life of each of my citizens. I do not want to go down in Kyrgyzstan’s history as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens. Thus, I have taken the decision to resign.”

Earlier, Jeenbekov had said he would step down only after a new parliamentary election is held and a presidential election announced.

The unrest had forced Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov and Parliament Speaker Dastan Jumabekov to step down on Oct. 6.

Boronov was replaced by Sadyr Japarov, who was also released from jail by protesters. 

Protests in the Central Asian country erupted earlier this month, with demonstrators storming into parliament and other buildings, clashing with police and demanding fresh parliamentary elections.

Supporters of the eight parties under 7% announced their rejection of the results, claiming the electoral process was not fair.

In response, the country's election authority annulled the results of the Oct. 4 ballot, in which only four out of 16 parties had managed to pass the 7% threshold to enter parliament.

Clashes between protesters and security forces left one person dead and 590 others injured.

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