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In 'Symbolic Action,' Fence Around Kyrgyz Government Building Torn Down

Workers remove the fence around the main government building in Bishkek on November 6.
Workers remove the fence around the main government building in Bishkek on November 6.

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz authorities have torn down the iron fence and gates around the main government building in Bishkek that houses the presidential office and parliament in a move the capital's acting mayor, Balbak Tulobaev, called "symbolic."

Tulobaev said on November 6 that the decision was made at the request of parliament Chairman Talant Mamytov, who was also present at the site.

"The idea was initiated by the Prime Minister and acting President Sadyr Japarov. The move can be defined as a symbolic action showing that all barriers between the authorities and people are gone," Tulobaev said.

Tulobaev also said that a section of the iron fence that contains a large plaque commemorating those citizens who died during the anti-government protests that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiev in 2010 will not be removed.

The Kyrgyz parliament named Japarov, 51, prime minister last month after mass protests against official results of October 4 parliamentary elections ousted the government and led to the resignation of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, the third popular revolt to topple a leader in the Central Asian nation since 2005.

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After Jeenbekov's resignation in mid-October, the parliament handed presidential powers to Japarov, who was released in the wake of the protests from a Bishkek prison, where he was serving a lengthy term on kidnapping charges.

Japarov has initiated amendments to the constitution to change the rules for elections.

He also signed legal changes that postponed fresh parliamentary elections tentatively set for December 20 to an unspecified date in 2021 despite a requirement that such a vote should come within two months.

That move cleared the way for an early presidential election on January 10.

Under current Kyrgyz law, anyone serving in an acting or interim capacity as president may not then run in an election for the post. But Japarov has argued that he will become eligible by stepping down in December.

As of November 6, seven other politicians had officially informed the Central Election Commission (BShK) of their intentions to run for president.

They are former parliament chairman Kanatbek Isaev; opposition Butun (United) Kyrgyzstan party leader Adakhan Madumarov; the leader of the El Uchun (For the People) party, Arstanbek Abdyldaev; the former leader of the Egemen (Sovereign) Kyrgyzstan party, Bektur Asanov; historian Kuban Choroev; political analyst Bakyt Baketaev; and opposition activist Nazarbek Nyshanov.