Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned on Thursday, leaving power in the hands of a nationalist rival whose supporters freed him from jail last week.
The swift transition appears to put an end to more than a week of turmoil and unrest that followed a disputed election.
Kyrgyzstan’s Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov addresses supporters during a rally to demand the resignation of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on October 14, 2020. (Reuters)
Hours earlier, Jeenbekov became the third president of the small Central Asian nation since 2005 to be toppled in a popular uprising. In a statement, he said he was resigning to prevent violence, which he said would have been inevitable if protesters carried out a threat to march on his compound.
“I do not want to go down in Kyrgyzstan’s history as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens.”