President of Kyrgyzstan sends troops into Bishkek and declares state of emergency
President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov has signed a decree on sending military units and equipment into the capital, Bishkek, Interfax reports.
According to the decree, the troops will be involved in “organizing checkpoints, suppressing armed clashes, ensuring the protection of law and order, and protecting the civilian population.”
The troops are being brought into the capital in connection with the declaration of a state of emergency in Bishkek, which will take effect at 8:00 p.m., local time on October 9, 2020, and remain in place until 8:00 a.m. on October 21.
Mass protests began in Kyrgyzstan on the night of October 5–6, in response to the results of the parliamentary elections, which were contested by the opposition parties that didn’t make it into parliament. During the protests, demonstrators seized the so-called “White House,” which includes the legislature and the presidential administration’s offices. They also freed a number of formerly high-ranking government officials from prison, including the country’s former president Almazbek Atambayev.
Kyrgyzstan’s election officials invalidated the contested voting results on October 6, and are planning on holding new elections. The country’s prime minister stepped down that same day. On October 9, President Jeenbekov accepted the prime minister’s resignation and the cabinet of ministers was dismissed (it’s set to continue work until a new government is formed). Sadyr Zhaparov, a former member of parliament whom demonstrators freed from prison during the protests, is expected to become the new prime minister. Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has approved his candidacy already.
According to figures published by Kyrgyzstan’s Health Ministry on October 9, 1,218 people were injured during the protests and more than 200 were hospitalized.