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Kyrgyzstan's disputed election threatens revolt

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on October 6, 2020 - Duration: 01:53s

Kyrgyzstan's disputed election threatens revolt

Opposition groups in Kyrgyzstan said they had seized power in the strategically important Central Asian country on Tuesday.

It's claimed they've taken control of government buildings in the capital during protests over a recent parliamentary election.

Adam Reed reports.

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Kyrgyzstan's disputed election threatens revolt

Kyrgyzstan is facing massive civil unrest, political upheaval, and its president says he's being threatened by an attempted coup -- rapid developments in the country that borders China, and also hosts a Russian military base.

Opposition leaders claim to have seized power there and stormed government buildings.

They also say they've freed a former president from prison on corruption charges.

The protests were sparked by a parliamentary election the opposition wants annulled.

In the capital at least one person was killed and 590 wounded in unrest overnight, according to the government.

This was President Sooronbai Jeenbekov on Tuesday: "They did not obey law enforcement agencies, beat paramedics and damaged buildings.

I ordered the law enforcement agencies not to open fire so there was no blood spilt and not a single citizen was injured.

So far, they have done everything so as not to exacerbate the situation." Kyrgyzstan is strategically located and has long been a platform for competition between Russia, China, and the United States.

The trouble first started on Monday when police used teargas and water cannons to disperse thousands of people demonstrating against the parliamentary results from weekend elections.

Two establishment parties who advocate for close links to Moscow appear to have taken the most seats, but Western observers say the election had been marred by vote-buying.

The opposition says it has freed former President Almazbek Atambayev from jail, and was already discussing the line-up of a provisional government.

However, Jeenbekov showed no immediate signs of relinquishing power and it remains unclear what role Atambayev might have.

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