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Kyrgyz president resigns following 10 days of unrest

Sooronbai Jeenbekov said he wanted to prevent clashes between security forces and protesters who have disputed the legitimacy of the October 4 election.
Image: Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbai Jeenbekov speaks after a vote at a parliamentary elections in Bishkek
Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned Thursday following 10 days of unrest in the country.Kyrgyz Presidential Press Service / Reuters

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned on Thursday after 10 days of unrest following a disputed election, saying he wanted to prevent clashes between security forces and protesters who have demanded his removal from office.

Kyrgyzstan has been in turmoil since the October 4 parliamentary election, which the opposition rejected after Jeenbekov's allies were declared the winners.

Protesters took to the streets in Kyrgyzstan to dispute the results of the October 4 elections.Vladimir Voronin / AP

After opposition supporters took to the streets and seized government buildings, the authorities annulled the vote. Jeenbekov announced last week that he would resign, but this week he delayed his exit, saying he would stay in office until a new election was held.

On Wednesday, Jeenbekov accepted parliament's choice of Sadyr Japarov, a nationalist whose supporters freed him from prison last week, to be prime minister. Japarov and his followers have demanded Jeenbekov leave office.

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Kyrgyzstan, a small central Asian former Soviet republic that borders on China, has experienced political turmoil for years. Jeenbekov is now the third president to be toppled in a popular uprising since 2005.