Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov resigns, amidst mounting post-election crisis

BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN: In the midst of mass protests across the country against the official results of the parliamentary elections, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov has tendered his resignation earlier this Thursday, adding in an official statement that “peace and unity in our country is more important than any post”.

Jeenbekov added that “I do not want to be known in the history of Kyrgyzstan as a bloody president who shot at his own citizens – so I decided to resign”; with his resignation coming only a day after he approved the parliament’s decision to elect Sadyr Japarov as the country’s Prime Minister.

Japarov was confirmed as Prime Minister, after being released from prison where he was serving a lengthy sentence after being convicted on charges of kidnapping – while the results of the elections were annulled, due to the public outrage at the visible improprieties in the electoral process. Jeenbekov, in one of his first statements after the mass protests, stated that he was willing to resign after a new cabinet was formed, and the political situation in the country was calmed.

Kyrgyzstan, a country of 6.5 million people located on the border with China, was plunged into unprecedented political turmoil in the aftermath of an allegedly botched election, tainted by vote-buying and other serious irregularities – after which protesters took over government buildings, forcing the Election Commission to nullify the election.