‘I am not holding on to power’: Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov resigns after a chaotic October of post-election turmoil & protests

‘I am not holding on to power’: Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov resigns after a chaotic October of post-election turmoil & protests Sputnik / Maxim Blinov
Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov announced on Thursday that he will resign, after ten days of civil unrest, explaining that he wishes to see the end of violence on the streets of the country’s capital, Bishkek.

Following  a disputed election on October 4, Kyrgyzstan has seen protesters clash with law enforcement, with thousands taking to the streets to demand Jeenbekov’s resignation. Last week, the president declared his intention to resign once a new vote had taken place. On Thursday, the Kyrgyz leader changed his mind, opting to quit immediately.

Writing on the official presidential website, Jeenbekov explained that the “socio-political situation” in the country remains tense, despite his promise to leave. “I am not holding on to power. I do not want to go down in the history of Kyrgyzstan as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens,” Jeenbekov wrote. “Therefore, I decided to resign.”

Jeenbekov also called on Prime Minister Sadyr Zhaparov to withdraw his supporters from the streets and return the country to peace. Zhaparov, forcibly freed from prison last week by members of the street movement, was yesterday elected by the country’s parliament as PM. Upon his election, he immediately called for Jeenbekov to leave office.

Following Jeenbekov’s resignation, supporters of Zhaparov gathered on the streets to demand the dissolution of parliament and the ouster of its speaker. According to the Kyrgyz constitution, Zhaparov would then become the most powerful man in the country.

Unrest in Bishkek first began on October 4, following the country’s parliamentary elections.

Supporters of some of the country’s opposition parties refused to accept the result, taking to the streets. Protesters broke into the White House, Kyrgyzstan’s presidential residence, and also managed to release former president Almazbek Atambayev from prison.

the political situation in the country stabilizes. In 2019, Moscow donated $30 million to Bishkek, and in the last 15 years has written off more than $700 million-worth of debts.