Kyrgyzstan: Amid unrest, Sadyr Zhaparov confirmed as new PM

Sadyr Zhaparov, who was formerly jailed on kidnapping charges, was appointed amid nationwide unrest.

Sadyr Zhaparov holds a news conference at the Ala-Archa state residence in Bishkek on October 10, 2020 [File: Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP]

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has named politician Sadyr Zhaparov prime minister in a repeat vote on Wednesday, a step that could help end a political crisis in the Central Asian nation.

Parliament had to vote on the matter again after President Sooronbay Jeenbekov vetoed its previous decision due to proxy voting by some MPs in an October 10 session.

Kyrgyzstan, a country of 6.5 million people located on the border with China, plunged into chaos last week after mass protests erupted the day after a parliamentary election appeared to show parties connected to the ruling elite winning.

Protesters stormed and seized government buildings, looting some offices, and the Central Election Commission responded by nullifying the October 4 balloting.

As the unrest continued, opposition groups announced plans to form a new government and remove Jeenbekov, who faces calls from protesters to resign.

Jeenbekov says he may consider stepping down after the political situation in the country stabilises.

He has declared a state of emergency and deployed troops in the country’s capital, Bishkek, in a bid to end the turmoil.

The move eased tensions in the city, where residents feared a wave of looting that accompanied previous uprisings and began forming vigilante groups to protect their property.

Zhaparov said on Wednesday he will discuss with Jeenbekov the latter’s promise to resign after the confirmation of a new cabinet.

The newly-appointed prime minister, who was freed from jail by supporters last week, had made several unsuccessful attempts to secure the post since unrest began over the parliamentary election.

The turmoil marks the third time in 15 years that demonstrators have moved to overthrow a government in Kyrgyzstan, a Russia ally and one of the poorest nations to emerge from the former Soviet Union.

Source: News Agencies