Breaking Into Parliment


Cullen Langley, Writer

Kyrgyzstan is a small country in Central Asia. It borders China to the South and West, Kazakhstan to the North, and Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to the East.The country’s capital is Bishkek. Rioters broke into Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament on Tuesday October 6th. On Monday peaceful protest were happening in a square of the capital. Ala-Too square in had around 5000 people peaceful protesting in it until 8:10 local time when a group of protesters broke off. The group that splintered off went to the parliament building and reportedly tried to break through the gates.

Bishkek police had stated they would remain out of the protests as long as they were peaceful. Breaking through the gates of the Kyrgyzstan Parliament building was not seen as a peaceful act by the Bishkek police. Police responded by using water cannons, stun grenades and tear gas on demonstrators. The Bishkek Police first pushed the protesters out of Ala-Too Square. As protesters fled to the streets the Bishkek Police went after them. Both sides incurred injuries. There have been a total of 600 injuries and 1 death according to the Health Ministry. Protesters returned and successfully gained entry to the Kyrgyzstan parliament building. The protests and riots started over accusations of vote-rigging in last Sunday’s election.

The president of Kyrgyzstan has said that he would annul the outcome of the vote if he has to do to “certain political forces”  trying to get power illegally. He has asked the public to return to order. The vote for Parliament last Sunday with only 4 out of 16 parties getting the 7% of votes threshold to enter. 3 of those parties have close ties to Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbai Jeenbekov. According to “Video footage shared on social media showed opposition protesters gaining access to the complex, some by climbing fences and others by pushing open the main gates. Later, smoke could be seen billowing out of the building. 12 out of 14 parties have stated they would not except the results of the election. Protesters have asked the President Jeenbekov to resign.

Kyrgyzstan has had two political upheavals in the last 15 years. One in 2005 and one in 2010. Parliament elected Sadyr Zhaparov, a founder of the opposition Mekenchil party, which had lost the election, as acting prime minister after the former Prime minister Kubatbek Boronov stepped down. Zhaparov had been released from prison on Tuesday where he was being held after taking a government official hostage in 2013. According to Al Jazeera, the first English-language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East, “A video that made rounds on social media saw members of the security services declare: “We’re with you.”