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Kyrgyzstan says foiled coup ahead of elections

2021-11-26T10:43:11.012Z

Kyrgyzstan announced on Friday the arrest of 15 people suspected of preparing a coup d'état involving, in particular, deputies, a sign of ...



Kyrgyzstan announced on Friday the arrest of 15 people suspected of preparing a coup d'état involving, in particular, deputies, a sign of tensions in this unstable Central Asian country on the eve of parliamentary elections.

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"

This group planned to organize large-scale demonstrations (in the capital) Bishkek, then to worsen the situation by provoking clashes with the police and to seize power by force

", indicated the State Committee for National Security in a statement.

Investigators "

have gathered irrefutable evidence of the criminal actions of this group of people led by destructive political forces including deputies and former senior officials,

" he said, without giving names.

The individuals arrested are in particular suspected of having wanted to push “

1000 aggressive young people

” to demonstrate in order to sow chaos after Sunday's poll, the Committee continued, adding that weapons had been seized.

Political instability

These arrests illustrate the political instability that reigns in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic located on the borders of Kazakhstan and China which has experienced multiple political crises since its independence 30 years ago. The legislative elections to be held there on Sunday are another test, a year after a poll that was followed by demonstrations denouncing fraud in favor of the then president, Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

In Bishkek, demonstrators occupied important government buildings and hundreds of people were injured in clashes with police. The result of the vote was eventually overturned and a politician, Sadyr Japarov, was released from prison and subsequently appointed acting prime minister. Become the strongman of the country, he was then widely elected president in January 2021. Sunday, 21 parties and hundreds of candidates will participate in the vote to distribute the 90 seats in Parliament. Few of the candidates are seen as hostile to Japarov. And for many in Kyrgyzstan, the great hope is that the vote will go smoothly. As suspicions of massive vote buying weighed on previous polls, Japarov vowed that this time around the vote would be clean.

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Despite the instability, elections in Kyrgyzstan are deemed to be more competitive than in other Central Asian countries, dominated by highly authoritarian regimes.

However, President Japarov, 52, has strengthened his powers to the detriment of Parliament in recent months, raising fears of an authoritarian drift.

In April, thanks to a constitutional referendum, he notably removed the limit of a single presidential term established after the 2010 revolution. Several candidates for Sunday's legislative elections were also under pressure.

Dastan Bekechev, a visually impaired MP, was fined for hiring underage workers for his campaign, a charge he refutes.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-11-26

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