Kyrgyzstan President, Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned Thursday, October 15, after clashes between security forces and protesters following a disputed election.
The unrest caused by angry youths demanding his removal from office started since the Oct. 4 parliamentary election, which the opposition parties rejected after Jeenbekov’s allies were declared the election winners.
Jeenbekov is now the third president of the small Central Asian state to be toppled in a popular uprising since 2005.
In a statement released Thursday, Jeenbekov said he feared violence and loss of lives might occur if protesters carry out a threat to march on his compound.
“The military and security forces will be obliged to use their weapons to protect the state residence. Blood will be inevitably shed. I urge both sides not to fall for provocations,” he said.
“I do not want to go down in Kyrgyzstan’s history as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens.”
Jeenbekov announced last week that he would resign from office, but delayed his exit till this week saying he would stay in office until a new election was held.
On Wednesday, Jeenbekov accepted parliament’s choice of Sadyr Japarov, a nationalist whose supporters freed him from prison last week, to become the new prime minister.
In the past, Japarov and his followers have demanded Jeenbekov leave office.
Following Jeenbekov’s resignation, parliament speaker Kanatbek Isayev would assume presidential powers.
Scores of Japarov’s supporters rallied close to the presidential residence as news of Jeenbekov’s resignation reached them.
They started making chants of “Parliament must go!” and “Isayev must go!”
Dastan Bekeshev, a lawmaker who supports neither Jeenbekov nor Japarov, told Reuters: “The president couldn’t hold out. He’s very weak. No spirit. It’s not clear what happens next, nobody can tell what is going to happen.”