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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Plan Vote On New Prime Minister Under State Of Emergency


Supporters of politician Sadyr Japarov clash with supporters of former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev in Bishkek on October 9.
Supporters of politician Sadyr Japarov clash with supporters of former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev in Bishkek on October 9.

BISHKEK -- Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan have told RFE/RL that members of parliament will gather on October 10 at the Kyrgyz presidential residence outside of Bishkek to discuss embattled President Sooronbai Jeenbekov’s call for a state of emergency and to vote on a new prime minister.

The meeting was scheduled after Jeenbekov on October 9 ordered a state of emergency and fresh clashes broke out in the capital between rival factions trying to gain power following the ouster of the government amid mass demonstrations earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, reports said armored vehicles and military trucks with troops have been seen on the roads outside of Bishkek after the state of emergency came into effect on the evening of October 9.

Tilek Toktogaziev, one of the contenders for the post of deputy prime minister, was among five people injured when supporters of former President Almazbek Atambaev clashed with a group that backs rival politician Sadyr Japarov.

Demonstrators who seized government buildings on October 6 had released Atambaev from a detention center where he was serving an 11-year sentence after being convicted on corruption charges in June.

Japarov was designated by several parties as Kyrgyzstan’s acting prime minister on October 6 after he was released from a prison where he was serving a lengthy sentence on kidnapping charges

Violence Breaks Out In Bishkek Amid Kyrgyz Political Chaos
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WATCH: Violence Breaks Out In Bishkek

Japarov previously had been a senior member of the Kyrgyz government and an adviser to former President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

RFE/RL correspondents at the scene of the clashes report that Japarov’s supporters hurled stones and other debris at Atambaev and his supporters -- including Toktogaziev and Omurbek Babanov.

Babanov has been proposed by several parties as Kyrgyzstan’s next prime minister.

RFE/RL correspondents also reported hearing several gunshots during the clashes. Atambaev’s associate Kunduz Joldubaeva said unknown individuals shot at Atambaev’s car, but the former president was not hurt.

But Toktogaziev and several other injured people were rushed to hospital.

Toktogaziev’s supporters told RFE/RL that he sustained a head injury when he apparently was struck by object that had been thrown.

Hours earlier, Atambaev had called upon President Jeenbekov to resign “peacefully.”

The turmoil marks a third time in 15 years that protesters have moved to topple a government in Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian nation of 6.5 million that is one of the poorest to emerge from the former Soviet Union.

A senior State Department official described what's happening in Kyrgyzstan as “a clear indication that media and civil society have progressed more, in terms of democratic norms, than many other countries in the region.”

“I think it's fair to say that the Kyrgyz Republic has in the past had historically more free and more fair elections than the other countries in the region and I think the reaction that you're seeing on the streets of the Kyrgyz Republic is a reflection of the expectations that the Kyrgyz people have for a democratic future,” the official told reporters on October 9.

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A decree signed by Jeenbekov on October 9 introduced a state of emergency in Bishkek from 8 p.m. on October 9 until 8 a.m. on October 21.

The order calls for Deputy Interior Minister Almazbek Orozaliev to act as the commandant responsible for law and order in Bishkek during the state of emergency.

The decree also says vehicles and the movement of people in Bishkek will be restricted and a curfew will be introduced. It did not give further details.

But it says mass gatherings and demonstrations, as well as public events, are banned in Bishkek during the state of emergency.

Jeenbekov on October 9 also met with the newly appointed chief of staff of the country’s armed forces, Taalaibek Omuraliev.

Jeenbekov reportedly asked Omuraliev to help quell the unrest and maintain peace. It wasn't immediately clear whether police and the military would comply with the order.

The unrest that has gripped Kyrgyzstan was sparked by allegations of vote buying and impropriety during parliamentary elections on October 4 that handed victory to pro-government parties.

Opposition parties have refused to accept the officials results. Thousands of demonstrators have spilled into the streets, and opposition supporters seized government buildings on October 6.

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Opposition groups thus far have forced the cabinet to resign and for the election commission to annul the results of the October 4 vote. But they have so far failed to agree on who would lead a provisional government.

The Central Election Commission (BShK) says repeat elections must be scheduled within one month of the cancellation of the results from the previous vote.

"Therefore, the Central Election Commission will schedule repeat parliamentary elections sometime before the deadline to do so on November 6," the BShK press service said.

Early on October 9, Jeenbekov said he was ready to resign once a new cabinet is appointed to end the power vacuum and chaos.

Jeenbekov also signed decrees on October 9 officially dismissing the outgoing government and Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov, who announced his resignation in the wake of the protests.

He also signed a decree dismissing chief of the State Committee for National Security (UKMK) Orozbek Opumbaev.

The former Soviet republic's outgoing parliament has not convened or appointed an interim leader.

The presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan issued a joint statement on October 9 calling for Kyrgyz political groups to join a dialogue and peacefully resolve the crisis.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Interfax

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