Kyrgyzstan president resigns to end post-election crisis

BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN (AFP) – Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov resigned yesterday, saying he wanted to bring an end to the crisis sparked by disputed parliamentary elections earlier this month.

Protests had erupted after the election on October 4 was won by parties loyal to Jeenbekov but opponents said was hit by vote-buying. The results were later annulled but this did not quell the tensions.

“I am not clinging to power. I do not want to go down in the history of Kyrgyzstan as a president who allowed bloodshed and shooting on its people. I have taken the decision to resign,” Jeenbekov said in a statement released by his office.

More than 1,200 people were injured and one killed during the clashes in the wake of the elections between protesters and police.

The move came as supporters of Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov – who was serving jail time for hostage-taking only last week – gathered once more yesterday to demand Jeenbekov’s immediate resignation.

“The current situation is close to a two-sided conflict. On the one hand, the protesters, on the other, the law enforcement agencies,” Jeenbekov said in the statement.