Kyrgyzstan opposition protesters storm parliament over alleged rigged elections

Protesters in Kyrgyzstan have reportedly seized power in the Central Asian republic following the storming of parliament building. This comes after days of protests over election irregularities.

All of the main opposition parties had seemingly failed to reach the threshold of votes necessary to gain seats in parliament. Additionally, three of the four parties allowed into government are alleged to have substantial ties to the current president President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Protests started on Monday 5th and quickly spread across the whole country before turning violent. By Tuesday there were hundreds of injured protesters and one death.

Several political prisoners were freed from jail, including former president Almazbek Atambayev and Sadyr Japarov, the man which would be appointed as acting prime-minister.

Reports from the BBC state that the opposition has control over the armed forces.

President Jeenbenkov had reportedly fled his offices early on Tuesday morning and has since stated his conviction that the opposition has acted illegally to seize control of government.

He has also stated his desire to annul the election results and to leave office in favour of “strong leaders”. In the same video message, he ordered the armed forces to not open fire on protesters.

While the previous two presidents have also been removed by protests and public pressure, Kyrgyzstan has always displayed a free and open democracy – at least in comparison to its former soviet republic neighbours. 

Currently the opposition parties claim to have formed a council responsible for the formation of a new government, however reports show that the different parties are already in conflict


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Marco Rizzo

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January 2022
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