By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Special Correspondent
(Worthy News) – During Friday’s session, Prime Minister Sadyr Zhaparov also became interim president of the Central Asian nation of 6.5 million, closely allied with Russia.
Jeenbekov, who stepped down Thursday, imposed an emergency and ordered troops in Bishkek after crowds stormed government buildings.
At least one person died, and more than 1,200 were injured in clashes, sparked by anger over the outcome of the October 4 parliamentary election.
Only four political parties out of 16 met the threshold to enter the 120 seat parliament, officials claimed. Nearly all of the victorious parties have close ties to Jeenbekov.
Authorities later annulled the ballot as the 12 opposition groups refused to recognize the election amid concerns about vote-buying and pressure on voters. It was not immediately clear when a new election would be held.
Jeenbekov’s resignation marked the third time a popular uprising ousted a leader of Kyrgyzstan, one of the poorest nations to emerge from the former Soviet Union. "I do not want to go down in the history of Kyrgyzstan as a president who allowed bloodshed and shooting on its people. I have decided to resign," Jeenbekov explained in a statement released by his office.
However, his successor Zhaparov isn’t without controversy. Until supporters freed him from jail on October 6, Zhaparov served an 11.5-year sentence for allegedly taking a government official hostage and other crimes.
On Friday, he took over the presidency after parliament’s speaker, Kanatbek Isayev, who is first in line under the constitution, declined to do so. "The powers of the president and the prime minister have been transferred to me," he told cheering supporters.
Zhaparov now faces an uphill battle to restore calm in Kyrgyzstan, strategically located on the border with China.
Russia closely monitors the developments. In a phone call Thursday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told his new Kyrgyz counterpart Ruslan Kazakbayev about Moscow’s “concern about the development of the internal political situation."
However, Moscow is ready to assist "legitimate state organs" seeking stability, the Russian foreign ministry added.
Kyrgyzstan is part of Russia-dominated security and economic alliances while depending on Moscow’s financial support.
The landlocked Republic was home to a U.S. airbase used for refueling and logistics for the war in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan refused to extend the U.S. lease in 2014 as it sought closer ties to Russia, which also has an airbase here.
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