Kyrgyzstan election: Protesters storm parliament over vote-rigging claims

INTERNATIONAL NEWS OCT 06,2020

Protestors in Kyrgyzstan calling for the parliamentary election to annulled have broken into parliament in the capital, Bishkek.

Footage showed people in the office of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and throwing paper from windows. Parts of the building appeared to be on fire. 

The break-in follows a day of clashes with police, whose initially dispersed crowds with water cannon and tear gas.

The clashes come amid allegations of vote-rigging in the last Sunday election. 

Following the vote, only four partied out of the 16 passed the 7% threshold for entry into parliament, three of which have close ties to President Jeenbekov.

On Monday, police used stun grenades to disperse thousands of protesters in Ala-Too square, before following then into nearby streets.

But demonstrators later flooded back into the central square, before storming the parliament building, known as the White House.

Video footage shared on social media showed opposition protestors gaining access to the complex by climbing the fence and others pushing the main gates. Later, smoke seen billowing out of the building. Demonstrators are going to stay at the square till they meet the political leaders. 

About 120 people have reportedly injured, half of them were law enforcement. Several people in serious injuries, there was no death. 

The protesters also released their former President who was being held in a remand center waiting for a trial for corruption offences. 

Groups close to the President accused of vote-buying and voter intimidation- claims international monitors say credible and a cause serious concern. 

On Monday 12 opposition parties jointly declared that they would not recognize the results of the vote.

Later, President Jeenbekov office said that he would on Tuesday meet the leaders from all 16 parties that completed in the election, in a bid to defuse tensions. 

Late on Monday, Birimdik announced that it would be open to a re-run of Sunday’s election, and called on other parties that had crossed the 7% threshold to do the same.

Tania Maria Joy

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