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15 Oct 2020 | 01:59 PM UTC

Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Japarov assumes position of acting president on October 15 /update 10

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov assumes position of acting president on October 15 following weeks of protests; further protests cannot be ruled out

security
KGZ

Event

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sadry Japarov assumed the powers of acting president and prime minister following the resignation of President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on Thursday, October 15. The announcement followed the resignation of parliament speaker Kanatbek Isaev, who would usually be responsible for assuming presidential powers. Jeenbekov's resignation came following weeks of anti-government protests over contested election results. Japarov, who was released from prison in the early days of the protests, was voted in as Prime Minister on Saturday, October 10, in an effort to placate protesters.

Jeenbekov's resignation was announced on his official website, and he was not seen in public on Thursday. Approximately 1000 people reportedly gathered in front of the Issyk-Kul Hotel on Prospect Mira on Thursday in support of the former president. It remains unclear how the protesters will greet the announcement, or whether senior officials will accept Japarov's assumption of power.

Further related protests and associated disruption should be anticipated in the immediate term.

Context

Multiple opposition groups have publicly contested the results of the country's parliamentary election on Sunday, October 4, with only four of 16 registered parties having passed the seven percent vote-share threshold in order to gain seats in the legislature. Three of the four parties that were elected to the new parliament had close ties to President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, and opposition groups have accused the government of vote-buying and intimidation during the election campaign, allegations which international monitors have stated are credible.

On October 14, Jeenbekov accepted parliament's choice of Sadyr Japarov as prime minister. Japarov, a nationalist whose supporters freed him from prison amid unrest last week, had been demanding that Jeenbekov leave office.

Advice

Those in Kyrgyzstan are advised to monitor developments, avoid demonstrations and political gatherings, avoid discussing politically sensitive topics in public or via social media, and heed any directives issued by local authorities.

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