Bishkek, allegations of electoral fraud: protesters storm Parliament

Thousands of opposition supporters protested against the government, accused of manipulating the parliamentary elections. OSCE observers: "serious" and "credible" accusations. Some government offices set on fire. Former President Atambayev released. Current leader of the country: Ready for a revote.

Bishkek (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A group of demonstrators calling for the cancellation of parliamentary elections broke into Parliament and other government buildings last night. Thousands of supporters of the opposition forces protested throughout the day accusing the electoral authorities of having rigged the outcome of the October 4 ballot.

According to official results, only four of the 16 parties that showed up exceeded the 7% quota: three of these have close ties to the disputed president Sooronbai Jeenbekov. According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observers, in principle the voting operations were handled correctly, but the allegations of manipulation are "credible" and represent a "serious concern”.

Demonstrators set fire to parts of the "White House", the parliamentary building, and destroyed one of Jeenbekov's offices. Defying the resistance of the law enforcement agencies, they occupied the headquarters of the state committee for national security and released former president Almazbek Atambayev, who has been in custody since 2019 on charges of corruption.

The local health ministry has so far reported one dead and 590 injured, of which 150 in hospital. This morning the situation seems to have returned to calm. Jeenbekov said he had met with opposition leaders and was ready to have the vote repeated.

Bishkek was the scene of violent anti-government protests as early as 2005 and 2010. With the "tulip revolution" of 15 years ago, one of the "colour" revolutions that shook the former Soviet republics, the population had overthrown the regime of Askar Akaiev.