MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday set a new parliamentary election for December following a disputed vote that led to the resignation of the country’s president.
The Oct. 4 parliamentary election was swept by pro-government parties, a result that the opposition dismissed as having been manipulated. Protesters took over government offices, prompting election authorities to nullify the results of the vote. Demonstrators also freed several opposition leaders, including Sadyr Zhaparov, who was quickly named the new prime minister.
Zhaparov’s supporters threatened to storm government buildings, forcing President Sooronbai Jeenbekov to step down on Oct. 15. Zhaparov succeeded him as the acting head of state.
On Wednesday, the Central Election Commission set a new parliamentary election for Dec. 20. A presidential vote is expected in January.
The developments marked the third time in 15 years that a leader of the Central Asian country on the border with China has been forced out by a popular uprising. As in the uprisings that ousted presidents in 2005 and 2010, the latest unrest was driven by clan rivalries that dominate the country’s politics.
Kyrgyzstan, one of the poorest countries to emerge from the former Soviet Union and which is a member of Russia-dominated economic and security alliances, hosts a Russian air base and depends on Moscow’s economic support. It formerly was the site of a U.S. air base that was used in the war in Afghanistan.