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5 Oct, 2020 21:40

Protesters aggrieved by ‘rigged’ parliamentary election break into government headquarters in Kyrgyzstani capital Bishkek (VIDEO)

Protesters aggrieved by ‘rigged’ parliamentary election break into government headquarters in Kyrgyzstani capital Bishkek (VIDEO)

Demonstrators in Kyrgyzstan have broken into the White House – the seat of presidential and parliamentary power – in the capital Bishkek, accusing the government of vote-buying and fraud in last weekend’s parliamentary election.

Sputnik Kyrgyzstan confirmed just after 3:30am local time, that protesters had “captured” the White House, accompanied by photos of the compound.

The palace was stormed after day-long demonstrations in Bishkek and other Kyrgyzstani cities, with angry opposition activists denouncing the parliamentary election as stolen, and accusing the government of intimidation and buying votes.

Kadyr Atambayev, the son of former president Almazbek Atambayev, was reportedly ushered into the compound by the protesters. Atambayev Sr was released from jail after his supporters surrounded the building following the storming of the White House.

President Sooronbay Jeenbekov called on the organizers of the gatherings to be prudent, adding that he remains in Bishkek, according to his press secretary.

Only four out of 16 parties – three of them pro-government – were able to exceed the seven-percent threshold and make it into parliament after the election on Sunday. The 11 losing opposition groups rejected the results and urged people to take to the streets.

One of the parties, Birimdik (Unity) – which won the most votes on Sunday with a quarter of the total – announced that it was ready to take part in a new parliamentary election. Party spokesman Adilet Sultanaliev took to Twitter to call upon the other three parties that cleared the threshold to follow Birimdik’s example. Asylbek Jeenbekov, younger brother of President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, is a Birimdik member. 

Also on rt.com Tear gas & sounds of explosions: Kyrgyzstan police clash with crowds attempting to storm parliament building (VIDEOS)

The Kyrgyzstani unrest has parallels with both recent demonstrations in Belarus – where the opposition refused to recognize the outcome of the presidential election held in August – and the 2014 Maidan uprising in Kiev, as protesters set up tents on Bishkek’s Ala-Too Square.

Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian state that gained independence in 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Monday’s unrest is the third time since 2005 that protesters have demanded regime change from the streets. Its first president, Askar Akayev, was ousted in the ‘Tulip Revolution’ after almost 15 years in power. His successor, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, fled the country five years later. 

Jeenbekov came to power in 2017, as the chosen successor of Almazbek Atambayev, but quickly fell out with his mentor. Atambayev was charged with corruption and sentenced to 11 years in prison back in August.

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