BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has accepted Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov's resignation and dismissed the government.
Atambaev appointed Deputy Prime Minister Mukhammetkalyi Abulgaziev as interim prime minister on August 22 and asked the outgoing government members to continue carrying out their duties until a new cabinet is formed.
Jeenbekov announced his resignation on August 21, saying that he was stepping down to run for president even though he was not required by law to do so. He registered as a candidate in the October 15 election earlier that day.
A former governor of the Osh region in southern Kyrgyzstan, Jeenbekov had been prime minister since April 2016.
He was nominated for the presidency by the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan and was the third hopeful to be officially registered as a candidate.
The other two are Temir Sariev, leader of the Ak Shumkar (White Falcon) party, and Omurbek Babanov, leader of the Respublika -- Ata Jurt (Republic -- Homeland) parliamentary faction.
The final list of registered candidates is to be made public on September 10.
Atambaev, who has been in office since December 2011, is constitutionally barred from running for a second term in the Central Asian country of 5.7 million.
Controversy has been cast over the election by the August 16 conviction of opposition politician Omurbek Tekebaev on bribery charges his party says were aimed to keep him off the ballot.
Tekebaev was sentenced to eight years in prison in a ruling that bars him from running in the October election and the next presidential vote, due to be held in 2023.