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Kyrgyz Parliament confirms convicted politician Sadyr Japarov as Premier

Jeenbekov's move came a day after he'd rejected parliament's unanimous appointment of Japarov as premier on Saturday


Naubet Bisenov | Bloomberg 

flag of Kyrgyzstan
Flag of Kyrgyzstan | Representative Image

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament confirmed Sadyr Japarov as prime minister for the second time in five days after President Sooronbay Jeenbekov gave in to pressure to appoint the politician freed from prison by protesters last week.

Jeenbekov’s move came a day after he’d rejected parliament’s unanimous appointment of Japarov as premier on Saturday. In an address to the nation published on the presidential website on Wednesday, Jeenbekov said the earlier vote was conducted with violations of the law.

Jeenbekov and Japarov, who come from rival political factions, met on Tuesday, according to the presidential website.

Japarov’s supporters called for a rally in the capital, Bishkek, on Wednesday, and the State National Security Committee urged citizens to stay calm and not give in to “provocations,” according to the local news website.

Last Tuesday, Japarov, who was serving a 10-year sentence for taking a regional governor hostage in 2013 amid protests over a Canadian-operated gold mine, was released from prison by his supporters as protests swept through the capital over the Oct. 4 parliamentary election.

“Today, I congratulate everyone on the fact that finally in there will be peace and stability because all branches of government are legitimized,” Japarov told legislators after the vote, according to Russia’s Tass news service.

Following large-scale protests by parties that had failed to enter parliament, the Central Election Commission annulled the results of the election and is expected to set a new vote by Nov. 4.

Kyrgyzstan, a country of 6.5 million, is one of the poorest countries in central Asia. A close Russian ally, the country is a member of the Moscow-led Eurasian Union. Two of its presidents have been toppled by popular protests since 2005.

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First Published: Thu, October 15 2020. 01:24 IST