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Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov resigns

The outgoing leader said he did not want to go down in Kyrgyzstan’s history as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens
Sooronbay Jeenbekov Mikhail Mettsel/TASS
Sooronbay Jeenbekov
© Mikhail Mettsel/TASS

BISHKEK, October 15. /TASS/. Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has declared his resignation, the presidential press service said on Thursday.

"I do not cling to power. I do not wish to go down in Kyrgyzstan’s history as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens. For this reason, I have made a decision to resign," the president said in a statement uploaded to his website.

Jeenbekov said he valued the country’s integrity, the unity of the people and calm in society above all. "Nothing is more precious to me that the life of each fellow citizen," Jeenbekov said.

The situation in Kyrgyzstan is close to a conflict between law enforcers and demonstrators, the outgoing leader said. He asked Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov and other politicians to persuade their supporters to leave the country’s capital and restore life to normal. "Regrettably, the aggression continues unabated and demands for my resignation are still there. The current situation is close to a bilateral conflict. On the one hand, there are the protesters, and on the other, the law enforcement agencies. Servicemen and law enforcers are obliged to use weapons to protect the state residence. In this case there will be bloodshed. It is inevitable. I am calling upon both parties to avoid yielding to provocations."

Jeenbekov has been Kyrgyzstan’s president for three years. He was elected on October 15, 2017. All Kyrgyzstan’s presidents left office at 61 years of age. Some did so voluntarily and others were ousted.

Situation in Kyrgyzstan

On October 4, Kyrgyzstan saw parliamentary elections. The next day the supporters of those political parties which failed to gain seats in the national legislature staged overnight mass rioting in the capital Bishkek, seized government buildings and freed the country’s former president, Almazbek Atambayev, and a number of other politicians, including Sadyr Japarov, the country’s current prime minister, from a detention center. More clashes between the supporters of different opposition forces followed in the center of Bishkek.

Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov and Parliamentary Speaker Dastanbek Jumabekov stepped down. After that Jeenbekov imposed a state of emergency on the capital city. The Central Election Commission declared the election returns void. An election rerun date is to be set before November 6. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a new speaker of parliament and head of government were elected.