The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan has declared the results of the weekend’s parliamentary election invalid after mass protests erupted in the country. Opposition supporters seized government buildings overnight on Monday, freed the ex-president from jail and demanded a new election.
Hundreds were injured in the protests, and one person died. They attributed the majority of votes on Sunday’s parliamentary elections to two parties with ties to the ruling elites, amid reports of vote buying and other violations.
The decision to cancel the results of the vote was made due to the political situation, according to Gulnyr Dzhurabayeva, a member of the election commission.
“The Central Election Commission held a meeting today. The commission decided to cancel the results at every voting precinct in Kyrgyzstan due to the political situation following the claim of 12 parties,” Dzhurabayeva said.
“There was more than enough reasons for a legal decision (to cancel the results). One of the parties was discredited by massive text messaging. The party (its reputation) suffered significant damage. Under these conditions, it’s impossible to recognize the election’s results as legitimate.”
The move came soon after President Sooronbai Jeenbekov accused “certain political forces” of trying to illegally seize power. In a video address, President Jeenbekov accused unnamed “political forces” of using the results of the election as a reason to “violate public order”.
Some 5,000 people gathered in the capital Bishkek’s Ala-Too square on Monday to demonstrate against the election results. Clashes broke out as police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters.
Members of several opposition parties announced plans to oust Jeenbekov and create a new government.
“We intend to seek the dismissal of Sooronbai Jeenbekov from his post,” Maksat Mamytkanov, a member of the Chon Kazat party said, adding that opposition parties also insisted on adopting a new constitution.
Another group of protesters went to Kyrgyzstan’s state committee of national security, demanding to free the former president Almazbek Atambayev, who was convicted on corruption charges earlier this year and sentenced to 11 years and two months in prison. Security officers released Atambayev after negotiations with the protesters.
Jeenbekov on Tuesday urged leaders of opposition parties to “calm their supporters down and take them away” from the streets.