In the power struggle in the central asian country of kyrgyzstan, president sooronbaj dscheenbekov has resigned. "I am not holding on to power," said in the capital, bishkek.
He does not want to go down in history as a head of state who allowed blood to be spilled and shot at his own citizens, cheenbekov said in an address to his compatriots published by his office.
The 61-year-old had only been in office since 2017. He had recently signaled his intention to retire, but left the timing open. Cheenbekov argued that a change of president in the midst of a political crisis would plunge the country into chaos. Demonstrators in the high mountain country on the border with china had repeatedly demanded his resignation. This step had been expected.
"For me, the most important thing is peace in kyrgyzstan (…) and the peace in society in the first place," said cheenbekov. Under the law, a successor must now be elected within three months. During this time, the parliamentary president was supposed to take over the duties of the head of state. However, the new prime minister sadyr shaparov said that he had refused. He stated that he would also take over the duties of the head of state. Parliament is expected to consider the president’s resignation this friday, it said.
As recently as wednesday, the new prime minister, shaparov, had insisted that cheenbekov resign from office. The background is the parliamentary election more than a week and a half ago, which was accompanied by falsehoods. Two parties close to the government received the most votes. Many opposition parties, on the other hand, failed to enter parliament.
There were bloody protests with hundreds injured. Protesters storm government buildings. The electoral commission then annulled the result. It is still unclear when and whether a new election will be held in the ex-soviet republic.
During the protests, shaparov was freed from prison by supporters. First of all, cheenbekov did not want to recognize him as the new head of government.
Several groups are fighting for influence in the country. Russia as ally warned of political chaos. Bishkek has been under a night curfew since the weekend.