Bishkek: elections annulled after fraud protests

The decision of the Electoral Commission came after days of demonstrations and the occupation of Parliament. Part of the opposition appoints Sadyr Japarov as the new premier. The disputed president Jeenbekov ready to support a new leadership. However, the country’s former strongman could organize a resistance in his political stronghold.

Bishkek (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The National Electoral Commission has annulled the parliamentary elections of 4 October. The announcement came last night after a group of protesters occupied Parliament and other government buildings in protest.

As soon as the results of the vote were announced, the opposition forces to President Sooronbai Jeenbekov denounced electoral fraud: thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against the government. Clashes with the police have so far resulted in one death and nearly 700 injured.

According to official counts, only four of the 16 parties that showed up exceeded the 7% threshold: three of these have close ties to Jeenbekov. According to election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the allegations of manipulation are "credible" and represent a "serious concern".

The president said yesterday that he had met with opposition leaders and was ready to have the vote repeated. Under pressure, Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov resigned yesterday. A section of parliament appointed Sadyr Japarov, who the day before the demonstrators had released from prison together with former president Almazbek Atambayev, as his replacement: the two were sentenced to serve 11 years in prison for various charges.

The opposition parties have created a "coordination council" to govern the country; according to various press reports, they would be divided on the top appointments, including that of Japarov.

Meanwhile, Jeenbekov has disappeared from circulation. He said he wanted to support a new leadership. However, some observers believe that the president could organize a resistance in the south of the country, his political stronghold.

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.