Amidst the social-political chaos in the Post-Soviet countries, a violent mass protest broke out in the Capital Bishkek against the Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary election results on October 4. The protestors were unhappy with the results and overnight seized the government buildings with the demanded of a new election turning it biggest turmoil in 10 years.
The police tried to hold up the mass protest by water cannons, tear gas and flashbang grenades but this only fuelled the anger and the number of the mob which led to seize the White House and Supreme Council buildings. Soon, the protest spread to different cities with the destruction of several private and public properties. The ongoing clash has left one person dead and 768 people injured as per the official health ministry reports.
A crowd of about 2,000 people went into the National Security Committee building and freed former President Almazbek Atambayev who was jailed for corruption charges.
Due to the pressure from protest, the Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan declared the results to be annulled on Tuesday. The decision to cancel the results of the elections was made to “prevent tension” in the country, head of the Commission Nurzhan Shaildabekova told the Interfax news agency.
Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov resigned from his post due to protest. The whereabouts of the Incumbent President Sooronbay Jeenbekov are unknown. He hasn’t made any public appearance nearly since a week of the advent of protest.
Violent protests are no strange to Central Asian Countries. Previously two violent revolutions took place in Bishkek which toppled the previous Presidents from the pressure of the street. The 2010 revolution established a new Kyrgyz Constitution which marked the beginning of a semi parliamentary system after the existence of the tyrannical Presidential system.
Sooronbay Jeenbekov is the incumbent President who took over the office from 2017 and one of the demands of the protestors are his resignation.
Before him, Almazbek Atambayev was the President of the social democratic party. Initially, Atambayev’s hand-picked successor was Sooronbay Jeenbekov. However, he was critical of Almazbek and later as the President; he began investigations into possible corrupt practices which led to Almazbek Atambayev’s imprisonment.
Thus, the parties supporting the former President currently released him from the jail and asked for Incumbent President Sooronbay to step down from the post.
Kyrgyzstan Electoral fraud:
The parliamentary elections were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and Kyrgyzstan is one of the highly affected countries. Largescale vote buying occurred due to economic crisis. Vote prices were discussed on social media, and videos of bribery went viral. Many harassment reports of journalist came forward during election time; even Media news was politically altered to gain popularity.
A total of 16 political parties contested for 120 parliamentary seats. However, only four political parties managed to pass the threshold. It is seen that two victorious parties have close ties with current President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. Officially by the law, the President shouldn’t support or belong to any party while serving his term.
Citizens knew that election fraud has occurred, but the law and election commission were utterly silent, siding with the government. The outcome of the election saw enormous implication of electoral fraud with two parties getting maximum seats on account of vote-buying and manipulation. Birimdik and Mekenim Kyrgyzstan Parties are considered to be government’s favourite.
It is to be noted that rest 12 are well-established opposition parties which didn’t get any seat in the parliament. These parties and citizens expressed their doubts and commenced the protest.
The international community condemns the violent act. Russia has strong ties and economic relations with Kyrgyzstan and military base set up in the nation. Kremlin Palace spokesman Dmitry Peskov told that Russia was “deeply concerned” about a “situation resembling a mess and chaos.” Incumbent President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has a pro-Russian leadership.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the political upheaval and asked Turkish Citizens to refrain from visiting the Central Asian country unless necessary.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying was quoted, “As a friendly neighbour and comprehensive strategic partner, China sincerely hopes that all parties in Kyrgyzstan can resolve the issue according to law through dialogue and consultation, and push for stability in Kyrgyzstan as soon as possible.
India has strong diplomatic ties with Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan supports India’s stance on Kashmir and Permanent membership of United Nation Security Council. Recently, the bilateral exchange occurred between the two at Shanghai Cooperation organization in Moscow. India, as of now hasn’t made any statement about the political chaos in Kyrgyzstan.