Zero Progress on Kyrgyz Deadlock as Businesses Warn of Economic Damage

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament failed to accumulate a quorum in an overnight session, deputies stated on Thursday. This resulted in leaving a power vacuum in the Central Asian nation as opposition groups sought to claim power after dislodging the cabinet.

Gripping Unrest

Unrest has overshadowed the former Soviet republic, which borders China and hosts a Russian military airbase since thousands of people protesting against the results of a parliamentary election confiscated government buildings on Tuesday.

Three rival groups have each proposed their candidates for the interim prime minister who would require overseeing a repeat vote in the coming months, Akipress, a Kyrgyz news website quoted, Deputy Ryskeldi Mombekov.

In addition to Sadyr Zhaparov and Tilek Toktogaziyev, who have already cleared their ambitions this week, Mombekov said Omurbek Babanov, who has already served as the cabinet head, had also emerged as a contender.

However, the outgoing parliament has itself divided into two groups that were meeting separately outside the headquarters ransacked by protesters, Mombekov said, and the group that met overnight in a hotel only consisted of 40 MPs, whereas major decisions such as naming a cabinet need a 61-vote majority.

Another MP, Elvira Surabaldieva, posted a video from the meeting online, stating it had failed to pass a motion to impeach President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Kyrgyzstan’s central bank has enabled financial institutions to reopen on Thursday since their closure on Tuesday. This happened as business associations alarmed the nation of 6.5 million could face food shortages if banks and tax offices remained shut and public safety could not be guaranteed.

“Mass Lootings were Prevented”

Sunday’s election handed the victory to two establishment parties, one of them closely associated with Jeenbekov. On Tuesday, eleven other parties declined to accept the results and the central election commission abolished them as it became clear Jeenbekov was losing his hold on power.

The embattled president has not appeared in public since, although his office said he remained in the capital, Bishkek, and Jeenbekov issued several statements calling for talks between rival political factions.

One person has been killed and over a thousand have required medical help since the unrest instigated, as vigilante units constructed by Bishkek residents tussled with protesters and looters.

However, acting interior minister Kursan Asanov, who took over this week after running in the election as an opposition candidate, stated that police and vigilantes had managed to avoid mass looting in the capital.

He promised to curb any attempts to further destabilize the country where ethnic violence left hundreds dead after the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in 2010 in another revolt.

Kursanov also asked parliament to convene and integrate a legitimate cabinet, explaining the ongoing situation as stable but tense.