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Kyrgyzstan president Jeenbekov resigns after unrest

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN - OCTOBER 9, 2020: Kyrgyzstan's former president Almazbek Atambayev addresses a rally of his supporters outside the offices of Media Forum hosting Aprel TV Channel owned by Atambayev. Mass protests against the results of the 2020 Kyrgyz parliamentary election have been held in Kyrgyzstan since October 5; protesters seized the White House, with Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission canceling the results of the election. Abylai Saralayev/TASS (Photo by Abylai Saralayev\TASS via Getty Images)

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned on Thursday after days of protests over a disputed parliamentary election, saying he wants to prevent clashes and bloodshed between security forces and protesters.

(CNN)Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned on Thursday after days of protests over a disputed parliamentary election, saying he wants to prevent clashes and bloodshed between security forces and protesters.

There is nothing dearer to me than the life of each of my compatriots," Jeenbekov said in an announcement published on the presidential website.

I do not want to remain in the history of Kyrgyzstan as the President who shed blood and shot at his own citizens.

Jeenbekov is the third president of Kyrgyzstan, a small country in Central Asia bordering China, to be removed from office after a popular uprising since 2005.

Demonstrations kicked off on October 4, when the opposition rejected the results of a parliamentary election in which Jeenbekov's allies claimed victory.

In the statement, Jeenbekov addressed Sadyr Japarov, one of the opposition leaders who was appointed prime minister on Wednesday, urging him to remove his supporters from the capital Bishkek and restore peace in the city.

Japarov was previously in exile but returned to Kyrgyzstan in 2017, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Japarov's supporters rally

Following Jeenbekov's resignation, parliament speaker Kanatbek Isayev would assume presidential powers.

Should he also resign, the powers would pass to Japarov, Reuters reported.

Hundreds of Japarov's supporters were rallying some 700 meters away from the presidential residence.

As news of Jeenbekov's resignation reached them, they started chanting "Parliament must go!" and "Isayev must go!"

Dastan Bekeshev, a lawmaker who supports neither Jeenbekov nor Japarov, told Reuters by telephone: "The president couldn't hold out.

Russia is also dealing with instability in three other ex-Soviet states: Belarus, where a disputed election has triggered protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, and Armenia and Azerbaijan, which are fighting over control of an enclave.

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