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Kyrgyzstan’s president says he’s quitting to avoid bloodshed

On Thursday, Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbai Jannbekov announced his resignation due to protests over a parliamentary election that was heavily disputed by the public. This represents the third time in just 15 years in which a Central Asian country leader has been ousted by a public uprising. Under the Kyrgyzstan constitution, the speaker of the parliament would be next in line to rule the country. However, the officer holding this position has refused to serve as a caretaker leader.

Jannbakov’s resignation and the reported refusal of the next official in line come amid growing political unrest within the region’s only democracy, which boasts a population of 6.5 million. Opposition groups leading the uprisings have highlighted vote-buying and other irregularities occurring within the recent parliamentary election, which has been highly contented. During protests, opposition leaders were freed from imprisonment. The Central Election Commission has since nullified the election results.

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