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Kyrgyzstan unrest: New PM named as president reshuffles security officials

Kyrgyzstan's newly elected Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov speaks at an extraordinary session of the parliament at the Ala-Archa state residence in Bishkek on October 10, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov has reshuffled top security officials after declaring a state of emergency in the Central Asian country, which has experienced unrest since a disputed parliamentary election on October 4.

Jeenbekov on Saturday removed top Security Council officials who had either supported his opponents or failed to take action when the opposition threatened to seize power.

Jeenbekov's main opponent, ex-president Almazbek Atambayev, was detained again in a raid on Saturday just days after leaving prison.

The state security service said it had rearrested the former leader on charges of inciting unrest. 

Parliament names new PM

Also on Saturday, the parliament named Jeenbekov's ally, Sadyr Zhaparov, as the new prime minister after his predecessor Kubatbek Boronov stepped down on Wednesday.

Zhaparov was also among senior politicians who were freed this week during the protests. He had been serving a prison sentence over charges of taking an official hostage in 2013.

Backed by nationalists, the new premier told lawmakers he would keep the cabinet line-up unchanged.

The unrest intensified after demonstrators stormed government buildings on Tuesday, demanding a new vote and the resignation of Jeenbekov.

On Friday, the president declared a state of emergency in the capital, Bishkek, and ordered the deployment of troops to the streets amid clashes between the supporters of rival political groups.

“Today we are witnessing a real threat to our statehood,” he said while announcing the decision.

The disputed election has been annulled by the Central Election Commission.

More than 1,200 people have been injured and one person has been killed in clashes between rival parties claiming victory in the elections.

A curfew and strict military restrictions have been imposed in the capital.

The Central Asian nation hosts a Russian military airbase and is a hub for trade with neighboring China.


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