The president of the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan resigned Thursday, after 10 days of unrest sparked by disputed parliamentary elections.
As protesters closed in on his residence, Sooronbay Jeenbekov abruptly stepped down, saying nothing was dearer to him than the life of every of his compatriots.
“I am not clinging to energy. I do not wish to go down in Kyrgyzstan’s historical past because the president who spilled blood and shot at his personal residents,” Jeenbekov stated in an announcement posted on the presidential web site.
Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP by way of Getty Pictures
Jeenbekov is the third president to be overthrown in a preferred rebellion since Kyrgyzstan gained independence in 1991. Not like the opposite 4 Central Asian international locations that emerged from the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan, with a inhabitants of 6.5 million, has a pluralistic, if chaotic, political life linked to its robust clan-based traditions.
The landlocked, mountainous nation, which borders China, hosts a Russian air base and receives thousands and thousands in monetary help from the Kremlin. For greater than a decade, the USA additionally operated an air base in Kyrgyzstan to assist operations in Afghanistan, till it was pressured to shut in 2014 beneath stress from Russia.
The present turmoil in Kyrgyzstan facilities on home rivalries.
The chaos started with protests in opposition to vote-buying in an Oct. four parliamentary election. Even after the authorities nullified the vote, the unrest continued, with one individual killed and lots of injured in clashes within the capital, Bishkek.
Supporters of a jailed former lawmaker, Sadyr Japarov, sprung him from jail, the place he was serving a sentence for for kidnapping an area governor.
When Prime Minister Kuratbek Boronov resigned final week, it created a political vacuum — and a gap for Japarov.
Jeenbekov accepted Japarov as the brand new prime minister earlier this week. However Japarov insisted that the president step down instantly — and never, as Jeenbekov urged, as soon as the scenario had stabilized.
After Jeenbekov resigned, the speaker of parliament, subsequent in line for the presidency, reportedly declined to take workplace. Japarov informed supporters in Bishkek that he was assuming the powers of the presidency, based on the order of succession.
The Kremlin has been watching these developments with alarm. Russian President Vladimir Putin has met incessantly with Jeenbekov, a veteran politician who final visited Moscow on the finish of September.
Russia hosts lots of of 1000’s of Kyrgyz migrant employees, and Bishkek is tied to Moscow by means of financial and protection pacts.
Earlier this week, Dmitry Kozak, the deputy head of Putin’s administration, met with Jeenbekov and stated he performed a “key function” within the nation’s secure growth.
Following Jeenbekov’s resignation, Putin’s spokesman stated that Russia will freeze monetary help to Kyrgyzstan till the scenario calms down and a brand new authorities begins working.