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Kyrgyz emergency ends as freed PM takes reins

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:43s - Published
Kyrgyz emergency ends as freed PM takes reins

Kyrgyz emergency ends as freed PM takes reins

Kyrgyzstan has ended its state of emergency after the unrest that followed a disputed election.

A new prime minister has taken the helm, but caused concern by also adopting the interim presidency.

Lucy Fielder reports.

The state of emergency in Kyrgyzstan's capital has been lifted following days of unrest -- and the new, nationalist prime minister is consolidating his power by also taking temporary control of the presidency.

Sadyr Japarov was freed from prison in the turmoil that followed the disputed October 4 election.

He was quickly elected prime minister in the days following.

Allies of former President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, who resigned on Thursday, were accused of paying for votes.

A popular uprising ensued, prompting Jeenbekov to impose the state of emergency in Bishkek and order troops on to the streets.

When he stepped down Thursday though, he said he didn't want to go down in history as, quote 'a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens.'

On Friday, parliament voted for the emergency to end, and Japarov, a Kyrgyz nationalist, took the reins.

He was jailed in 2017 on kidnapping charges, over an incident where protesters briefly held a provincial governor hostage.

Japarov took over the interim presidency after the parliament speaker - first in line under the constitution - turned it down.

His assumption of both roles has prompted some concern.

One parliament deputy called it unprecedented in Kyrgyz history for such powers to be concentrated in the hands of one man.

As interim president, though, Japarov can't run in the presidential election, which he must oversee no later than mid-January.

Jeenbekov was the third Kyrgyz president in 15 years to be toppled by a popular uprising.




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