The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan declared the results of the weekend’s parliamentary election invalid on Tuesday, following mass overnight protests in the capital Bishkek and other cities. The decision was made in order to "avoid tension" in the country, the head of the Commission Nurzhan Shaildabekova told the Interfax news agency. Opposition supporters stormed government buildings overnight and demanded a new election, after parties close to pro-Russian President Sooronbai Jeenbekov cleared up according to the official results. Hundreds were injured and one killed during violent clashes with police, who used teargas, grenades and water cannons to disperse protesters.
Moscow’s embassy in Bishkek on Tuesday called for a "legal solution" to the crisis. "Ensuring the safety of citizens, internal stability should be a priority," it said.
Opposition politicians including a former prime minister and several party leaders said they had formed a "coordination council" to restore stability and "return to the rule of law." The council issued a statement criticizing Jeenbekov for failing to honor a promise to provide equal conditions for the parties competing in the vote. Jeenbekov’s office insisted that the situation in the country is under his control, while the president accused "several political forces" of attempting to seize power. He said he had "suggested that the central Election Commission carefully investigate the violations and, if necessary, annul the election results." Protesters also released two former prime ministers, two former lawmakers and ex-president Almazbek Atambayev from jail, local media reported. Atambayev, who served as president from 2011 to 2017, was taken into custody last year on corruption allegations that surfaced amid a personal conflict with his successor, Jeenbekov. The two were once close, but the pair fell out shortly after Atambayev won the 2017 presidential elections.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which had independently monitored the voting, said there were reported irregularities, including "credible allegations of vote-buying."
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