- Protesters believed the results of Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary election were fraudulent.
- According to the Ministry of Health, at least 600 people were injured and one died.
- Protesters rescued former President Atambayev from prison without using violence or weapons.
Kyrgyzstan’s controversial parliamentary elections triggered protests, with demonstrators breaking into government buildings. The detained former President, Almazbek Atambayev, has been released from prison. According to the latest news, the Election Commission has now declared the election results invalid.
Protesters believed the results of Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary election were fraudulent. Earlier, the country’s President, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, said that some of the violent protests were an attempt by some opposition figures to illegally seize power. He called on political dissidents to end public protests.
President Jeenbekov said in a statement that he controls the situation. He has instructed the security forces not to shoot at the demonstrators.
The president’s spokesman, Tolgonaj Stamalijewa, said earlier that the president has asked the election administration to review the results of the election, and may completely overturn the election results.
Hundreds Injured, One Dead
After the preliminary results of the parliamentary elections were released, serious riots broke out in the capital, Bishkek. The police used sound and light grenades and tear gas against the demonstrators.
The demonstrators demanded that the president step down. Some protesters also set fire to cars. According to the Ministry of Health, at least 600 people were injured, and about half of them were security guards. One person died.
Kyrgyzstan media reported that demonstrators occupied multiple public buildings. Witnesses said that about 2,000 demonstrators had crossed the barriers in front of the parliament and presidential palace. The Kyrgyz branch of Radio Free Europe in the United States posted photos on its website showing protesters entering government buildings.
Former President Released from Prison
The demonstrators apparently successfully stormed the building of the National Security Council. Former President Almazbek Atambayev was imprisoned for 11 years due to corruption and his relationship with the Mafia. An activist told AFP reporters that anti-government protesters rescued Atambayev from prison without using violence or weapons.
Atambayev served as president from 2011 to 2017. After his arrest in August last year, violent riots broke out in Kyrgyzstan. Atambayev’s supporters criticized the actions taken against the former president as politically motivated.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Central Election Commission had stated that the main opposition parties, the Bir Bol and the Fatherland Party (Ata Meken), did not pass the 7% threshold in the parliamentary elections on Sunday.
The government’s opposition accused Jeenbekov of cheating in the election and called for protests. According to the election results, four political parties entered the parliament in this election, three of which are pro-government parties.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that the claim that someone spent money to buy votes was credible. At the same time, election observers said that the election was organized in an orderly manner, and said all candidates had a fair chance to run.
The predominantly Muslim Kyrgyzstan has a population of 6 million, and is considered the most democratic country in Central Asia. However, it is also particularly politically unstable.
In the past 15 years, two presidents of Kyrgyzstan have been overthrown by riots. Now Jeenbekov announced that he will meet with leaders of all political parties participating in the election on Tuesday.