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Kyrgyzstan president calls for calm amid protests over election results

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Oct. 6 (UPI) — Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov called on his political opponents Tuesday to calm their supporters after protesters against parliamentary election results stormed the parliament building and presidential offices overnight and released jailed former President Almazbek Atambayev.

In a statement published on his Facebook account, the pro-Kremlin president described the acts of protesters who broke into the buildings in the capital of Bishkek as an illegal attempt to seize state power. He said he ordered security forces to not open fire to prevent bloodshed and claimed that they have taken “all possible measures” to prevent the situation from worsening.

He said he has also ordered the Central Election Commission to investigate Sunday’s parliamentary elections and, “if necessary, annul the results.”

Protests in the city erupted Monday after the parliamentary election results were released, stating that only four of the 16 parties in the election had secured 7% of the vote necessary for entry into parliament with three of the four having close ties to Jeenbekov, the BBC reported.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said in a 16-page report on Monday that the elections were generally “well run and candidates could campaign freely.”

However, opposition parties and candidates have voiced allegations of vote buying, which the international security organization said was “a serious concern.”

Demonstrators clashed with riot police over Monday night, resulting in at least one death and 590 people injured, the health ministry said, AKI Press reported.

The local press reported that the president’s call for calm came hours after protesters stormed parliament buildings and freed Atambayev and other senior politicians from the National Security Committee jail.

“I urge the leaders of political party leaders to calm their supporters and move them away from their places of concentration. I call on all my compatriots to keep the peace and not give in to the calls of the provocative forces,” Jeenbekov said in the statement. “I call on all forces to put the fate of the country above political ambitions and return to the legal field.”

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