Kyrgyzstan calls new parliamentary election in December

Kyrgyzstan calls new parliamentary election in December
Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Sadyr Zhaparov, left, walks behind ousted president Sooronbai Jeenbekov during an official transfer of power ceremony at the Kyrgyzstan Parliament in Bishkek on October 16 (Vladimir Voronin/AP)

Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have called a new parliamentary election for December following a disputed vote that led to the resignation of the country’s president.

The October 4 parliamentary election saw a landslide win for pro-government parties, a result the opposition dismissed as having been manipulated.

Protesters took over government offices, prompting election authorities to nullify the results of the vote. Demonstrators also freed several opposition leaders, including Sadyr Zhaparov, who was quickly named the new prime minister.

Mr Zhaparov’s supporters threatened to storm government buildings, forcing President Sooronbai Jeenbekov to step down on October 15.

Mr Zhaparov succeeded him as the acting head of state.

Supporters of Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Sadyr Zhaparov attend a rally in Bishkek (Vladimir Voronin/AP)

On Wednesday, the Central Election Commission set a new parliamentary election for December 20. A presidential vote is expected in January.

The developments marked the third time in 15 years that a leader of the Central Asian country on the border with China has been forced out by a popular uprising.

As in the uprisings that ousted presidents in 2005 and 2010, the latest unrest was driven by clan rivalries which dominate the country’s politics.

Kyrgyzstan, one of the poorest countries to emerge from the former Soviet Union and which is a member of Russia-dominated economic and security alliances, hosts a Russian air base and depends on Moscow’s economic support. It was formerly was the site of a US air base that was used in the war in Afghanistan.

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