Building Housing Kyrgyz Parliament, President's Office Catches Fire After Day Of Protests.

Radio Free Europe

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BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan plunged into deep uncertainty on October 6 as officials annulled the results of weekend parliamentary elections following chaotic protests and various political forces claimed to seize power in what President Sooronbai Jeenbekov described as a coup.

Jeenbekov, whose location is unknown, on October 6 called for calm as he described in a brief video the actions of angry demonstrators who took over government, television, and security buildings as an attempt by some political forces to illegally seize power.

Another statement from the president's office said Jeenbekov "controls the situation" and "is doing everything to restore law and order" in the Central Asian state.

It is unclear who is in charge, with both the president and opposition parties claiming authority and protesters still on the streets.

The election results in Kyrgyzstan, a close ally of Russia that has long been a platform for geopolitical competition between Moscow, Washington, and Beijing, sparked a tumultuous night of protests and clashes in the capital, Bishkek, on October 5 that spilled into the next day.

In chaotic scenes, demonstrators broke into the building housing the parliament and presidential offices, and set free Almazbek Atambaev, a former president jailed earlier this year on corruption charges.

Police used water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades to disperse the crowd. The mayhem left one person dead and 590 injured.

The Central Election Commission said on October 6 that the election results had been cancelled and would be rerun. It provided no further details.

Opposition parties claim the October 4 election was manipulated and unfair.

Kyrgyzstan has a history of political volatility -- two of its presidents have been toppled by revolts in the past 15 years.

Opposition parties Ata-Meken(Fatherland), Butun(United)Kyrgyzstan, Zamandash(Contemporary), Social Democrats, Bir Bol(Stay United)Ordo(The Horde), Respublika(Republic), and Reforma(Reform)established a Coordination Council on October 6 and elected Butun Kyrgyzstan leader Adakhan Madumarov its chairman.

The Coordination Council has also named Omurbek Suvanaliev to oversee the Security Council until the new government is named.

Suvanaliev told RFE/RL on October 6 that he did not have information about Jeenbekov's whereabouts.

The Coordination Council also named Kursan Asanov, who was fired from the post of deputy interior minister in 2019 for "the betrayal of the Kyrgyz police's interests" and is the target of three investigations, to be acting interior minister until the new government is formed.

Meanwhile, opposition figures claimed to take charge of the key posts of prime minister and parliament speaker.

Across the country, the head of departments are being removed by force or resigning, while the mayors of Bishkek and Osh were also replaced. At the same time, opposition parties are struggling to agree who will govern at the national and local level.

In many cases, it's unclear under what legal authority self-proclaimed mayors and government officials are taking up power.

In Bishkek, RFE/RL correspondents reported that lawmakers split into two groups and held sessions in two separate sites in the Kyrgyz capital.

Parliament speaker Dastan Jumabekov reportedly resigned from his post and opposition politician Myktybek Abdyldaev was elected to replace him.

Also, Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov has resigned from his post and Sadyr Japarov nominated to replace him. Japarov was released from prison by protesters the night before and acquitted by the top court.

It was unclear if any of these moves were legal and binding, or if a parliamentary quorum was met.

Japarov must now come to the parliament's meeting with his program and a new cabinet members list, and deputies must vote on his candidacy.

Parliament is expected to hold an extraordinary session on October 7.

Some in Kyrgyzstan say that by electing a new parliament speaker, the opposition may force Jeenbekov to resign or leave and then, in accordance with the constitution, the parliament speaker will be acting president.

The European Union on October 6 called on all political forces in Kyrgyzstan to "act within the framework of the constitution and to settle their disagreements peacefully."

"We look forward to new credible, transparent and inclusive elections, in line with Kyrgyzstan's international commitments and the democratic rights of its citizens, being organized," European Council spokesman Peter Stano said.

In the now annulled election results announced on October 5, the newly formed, pro-government Birimdik(Unity)party won 24.5 percent of the vote, followed by Mekenim(My Homeland)Kyrgyzstan at 23.88 percent, and the Kyrgyzstan party at 8.76 percent.

The three parties are broadly considered pro-government or having an interest in maintaining the status quo. Butun Kyrgyzstan, a nationalist party, was the only opposition party that reached the threshold, with 7.13 percent of the vote.

The remaining 12 parties failed to clear the 7 percent threshold to enter parliament. Combined, the 12 parties received around one-third of the ballots.

Smaller parties have accused Birimdik, widely considered loyal to Jeenbekov, of using administrative resources to promote its candidates, an allegation the party denies.

Mekenim Kyrgyzstan is closely associated to the wealthy and influential Matraimov family.

The clan's figurehead, Raiymbek Matraimov, a former top customs official, was the target of large protests in November and December 2019, with demonstrators demanding a probe into allegations of corruption and massive outflows of cash from the country.

The election was seen a test of the country's close ties with Russia, with the Birimdik party touting ties with the Kremlin as part of its campaign pitch.

With reporting by Kloop and Reuters