Asia-Pacific

Kyrgyz parliament approves new PM in bid to resolve post-poll crisis

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has approved populist politician Sadyr Zhaparov as prime minister in an effort to bring an end to the political turmoil in the Central Asian state.

The parliament approved Zhaparov in a vote on Wednesday.

It was the second time the Kyrgyz parliament was voting to approve Zhaparov because President Sooronbay Jeenbekov had vetoed its previous decision due to proxy voting by some lawmakers on October 10.

More than 80 of the 120 legislators in the parliament showed up for the extraordinary session this time, and Zhaparov secured the support of the ruling coalition.

The country has been in turmoil since elections on October 4 led to massive protests in the capital, Bishkek, with protesters freeing Zhaparov and other former officials from a security detention facility after taking over a huge government compound.

The parliamentary election on October 4 handed victory to two establishment parties, one of them closely tied with Jeenbekov. The president declared a state of emergency and ordered troops deployed in Bishkek and elsewhere in the country to contain the unrest that ensued.

Jeenbekov also said last week that he was prepared to resign to help resolve the political crisis in the country. But his position appeared to be bolstered on Tuesday when the parliament appointed a speaker from a pro-presidential party, suggesting that a compromise had been struck with Zhaparov.

Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country of 6.5 million people with a history of political instability. It has had two presidents overthrown by street protests since gaining independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.

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