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Bishkek is engulfed by protests

Protesters in Kyrgyzstan occupied the parliament and government building in the capital city of Bishkek on Monday, reporting local media. The demonstrators are opposed to the outcome of last Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

An eyewitness who participated in the occupation, but wanted to remain anonymous, told AFP news agency that some 2,000 demonstrators broke through the gates of the government building and entered it. Fires have broken out in several places.

Opposition supporters went out on Monday to force pro-Russian President Likeonbay Jeenbekov to resign. At least ten political parties had asked for a new round of voting because there would have been large-scale votes.

The first results of last Sunday’s parliamentary elections have been achieved by two political parties, including the current president, Jeenbekov. Eleven parties failed to reach the threshold. These opposition parties accuse the winners of voter fraud and demand new elections. Independent observers have also detected irregularities.

Riots broke out, with officers deploying water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters. At least 120 people were injured and had to be hospitalized. According to the Ministry of Health, about half of them were ‘members of law enforcement’.

Protesters have also broken into the headquarters of the state commission on national security (UKMK) to liberate former Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev. Atambayev was head of state from 2011 to 2017. He was in disagreement with the then prime minister and current president, Jeenbekov, and this year he was convicted of fraud.

President Jeenbekov wants to sit down on Tuesday with all the parties who took part in the elections.

The Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, with about 6.5 million inhabitants, has a history of political instability. In the last 15 years, two presidents have been disbanded during revolutions.

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