Conflicts & War

Army deployed to Bishkek as election unrest rumbles on

Moscow, Oct 9 (efe-epa).- The president of Kyrgyzstan on Friday ordered the deployment of the army to the central Asian nation’s capital Bishkek, where a state of emergency is in place following days of post-election unrest.

Sooronbay Jeenbekov met with his chief of staff before announcing in a decree that soldiers would set up checkpoints in the city to prevent “armed clashes” and guarantee public order, according to local news agency AKIpress.

The state of emergency in the capital, which could enforce a night time curfew, is due to be enacted at 8pm local time until 8am on 21 October.

The country’s deputy interior minister, Almazbek Orozaliyev, will take command of Bishkek during the state of emergency, and will have the powers to cancel public events, sporting activities, protests and strikes, as well as censor traditional and social media.

The unrest in the capital continued Friday. According to eye-witnesses, unknown armed men fired shots toward Almazbek Atambayev, who was freed from prison this week by his supporters.

Another group of protesters threw stones and bottles at a gathering of Atambayev supporters.

Jeenbekov on Friday suggested he was willing to step down from office once a new government and prime minister was in place.

“We must return to law and order as soon as possible,” he said.

The former Soviet republic, which borders China, was plunged into a political crisis after the legislative elections on 4 October, in which only two opposition parties made it into parliament.

The clashes that erupted on Monday left one dead and one soldier injured.

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