2020 Kyrgyzstani protests

Last updated

2020 Kyrgyzstani protests
Protesty v Bishkeke 2020.jpg
Date5 October 2020 (2020-10-05) - 15 October 2020 (2020-10-15) (1 week and 3 days)
Caused by
  • Resignation of President Sooronbay Jeenbekov
  • Resignation of the government
  • Dissolution of the newly-elected parliament
  • New free and fair elections
Methods Demonstrations, civil disobedience, Riots
Resulted in
Parties to the civil conflict

Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Government of Kyrgyzstan

Lead figures
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Sooronbay Jeenbekov Saiasii partiiasy <<Respublika>> (logotip).svg Ömürbek Babanov

Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Almazbek Atambayev

Logo partii Ata-Meken.svg Tilek Toktogaziev
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Sadyr Japarov
Death(s)1 [2]
Injuries1,000+ [3] [4] [5]

The 2020 Kyrgyzstani protests (or Kyrgyz Revolution of 2020) began on 5 October 2020 in response to the recent parliamentary election that was perceived by protestors as unfair, with allegations of vote rigging. [6] [7] The results of the election were annulled on 6 October 2020. [8] On 12 October 2020, President Jeenbekov announced a state of emergency in the capital city of Bishkek, [9] which was approved by Parliament the following day. [10] Jeenbekov resigned on 15 October 2020. [11]



Kyrgyzstan had faced two revolutions during the early 21st century, including the Tulip Revolution in 2005 and the Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010. [12] In August 2020, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov indicated that the parliamentary elections would not be postponed despite the coronavirus pandemic. [13] During the elections, several parties were accused of buying votes. [14] Several journalists also reported that they had been harassed or attacked. [15] Out of the parties that made it into parliament, only United Kyrgyzstan consistently opposes the incumbent government led by Jeenbekov. [16]

Political analysts have tied the 2020 protests to a socio-economic divide between Kyrgyzstan's agrarian south and more-developed north. Of the initial election results, 100 of the 120 seats were filled by southerners who supported Jeenbekov. [17]


5 October

The protests began on 5 October 2020, with a crowd of 1,000 people, [6] that grew to at least 5,000 people by evening in Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) in protest against results and allegations of vote-buying in the October 2020 parliamentary election. [7] After nightfall, following a police operation to clear the Ala-Too Square of protesters with tear gas and water cannons, protesters allegedly attacked police officers with rocks and injured two of them. [18] [19] Former President Almazbek Atambayev was freed from prison. [20]

6 October

A seized fire truck outside the White House on 6 October 2020 Zakhvachennaia pozharnaia mashina.jpg
A seized fire truck outside the White House on 6 October 2020

In the early morning of 6 October 2020, the protesters reclaimed control of the Ala-Too Square in central Bishkek. [21] They also managed to seize the White House and Supreme Council buildings nearby, throwing paper from windows and setting them on fire, [3] also entering the President's offices. A protestor died and 590 others were injured. [22]

On 6 October, following the protests, the electoral authorities in the country annulled the results of the parliamentary elections. [8] Central Election Commission member Gulnara Jurabaeva also revealed the commission was considering self-dissolution. [23]

In the meantime, opposition groups claimed to be in power after seizing government buildings in the capital, in which several provincial governors have reportedly resigned. [3] President Sooronbay Jeenbekov said that he faced a coup d'état, [3] then he told the BBC, that he was "ready to give the responsibility to strong leaders". [24]

Protestors freed former president Almazbek Atambayev and opposition politician Sadyr Japarov from prison. [25] [26]

Likely due to pressure from the protest, Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov resigned, citing parliamentary deputy Myktybek Abdyldayev as the new speaker. [27]

7 October

Opposition parties were unsuccessful at forming a new government on Wednesday, 7 October. Following the resignation of Prime Minister Boronov, former lawmaker Sadyr Japarov was appointed to replace him. Opposition parties rejected the legitimacy of Japarov's status and instead put forward their own candidate for prime minister, Tilek Toktogaziyev. Japarov claimed that he was already the "legitimate prime minister" and that he was appointed by "the parliament's majority." Boronov's resignation, however, had yet to be confirmed by President Jeenbekov, and government websites continued to list him as the prime minister on 7 October. [28]

Crowds gathered to protest the nomination of Japarov and demand the resignation of Jeenbekov. According to the Ministry of Healthcare, no fewer than 768 people injured during the protests have been treated by the country's hospitals and clinics as of Wednesday morning. [29] According to Reuters, at least three distinct groups have now attempted to claim leadership. [30]

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz parliamentarians launched impeachment procedures against Jeenbekov, according to a parliamentarian from the opposition party Ata-Meken, Kanybek Imanaliev. [31]

9 October

Jeenbekov declared a state of emergency, ordering troops to deploy in Bishkek. The declaration imposes a 12-hour curfew until October 21. [32] Gunfire was heard during violent clashes in Bishkek that broke out after Jeenbekov's declaration. [33] Jeenbekov formally accepted Boronov's resignation. [34]

10 October

Kyrgyzstani special forces detained former President Almazbek Atambayev in a raid on his compound. [35] Former Member of Parliament Sadyr Japarov, who was freed from prison on October 5 by protesters, was nominated as interim Prime Minister by Parliament. [36]

12 October

A second state of emergency was declared by President Jeenbekov in Bishkek from 12 October to 19 October. [9] [37] Opposition parties announced their intentions to oust Jeenbekov; Jeenbekov stated that he would consider resigning, but only after the political crisis is resolved. A curfew was put in place, in effect from 10 pm to 5 am. Convoys of troops from the Kyrgyz military were sent into the capital city to control the situation. [37]

13 October

Kanat Isaev was elected as the new Speaker of the Supreme Council, as there were no other candidates seeking the position. [38] Parliament endorsed Jeenbekov's second declaration of a state of emergency, after previously rejecting his first. [10] President Jeenbekov formally rejected the nomination of Sadyr Japarov to the position of Prime Minister. [39]

15 October

Supporters of Sadyr Japarov at the old square 14 October 2020 Staryi ploshchad'.jpg
Supporters of Sadyr Japarov at the old square 14 October 2020

Sooronbay Jeenbekov resigned as President of Kyrgyzstan in an attempt to end the political unrest, while also stating that he "Calls on Japarov and the other politicians to withdraw their supporters out of the capital of the nation and to return the people of Bishkek to peaceful lives". [40] [41] Japarov declared himself as acting president. [11] [42] [43] Despite the Kyrgyzstan Constitution stating that the speaker of the Supreme Council should succeed the role, Kanatbek Isaev refused to assume office, resulting in Japarov becoming the acting president. [44] [45]



On 7 October, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, "As a friendly neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner, China sincerely hopes that all parties in Kyrgyzstan can resolve the issue according to law through dialogue and consultation, and push for stability in Kyrgyzstan as soon as possible." [46]


On 7 October, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed that Russia is concerned by the political unrest taking place in nearby Kyrgyzstan and hoped for a swift return to stability. Russia also gave assurances it was in touch with all the sides in the conflict and hoped that the democratic process would be restored. [47] On 8 October, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "The situation looks like a mess and chaos." and Russia was obliged by a security treaty to prevent a total breakdown in the country. [48]

European Union

The European Union called on all political forces in the country to act within the framework of the constitution and to settle their disagreements peacefully. [49]

United States

The U.S. Embassy in Bishkek expressed support for Jeenbekov, stating on 13 October that "the United States supports the efforts of President Jeenbekov, political leaders, civil society, and legal scholars to return the political life of the country to a constitutional order. It is clear that one of the obstacles towards democratic progress is the attempt by organized crime groups to exert influence over politics and elections." [39]

See also

Related Research Articles

History of Kyrgyzstan Historical development of Kyrgyzstan

The history of the Kyrgyz people and the land now called Kyrgyzstan goes back more than 3,000 years. Although geographically isolated by its mountainous location, it had an important role as part of the historical Silk Road trade route. In between periods of self-government it was ruled by Göktürks, the Uyghur Empire, and the Khitan people, before being conquered by the Mongols in the 13th century; subsequently it regained independence but was invaded by Kalmyks, Manchus and Uzbeks. In 1876 it became part of the Russian Empire, remaining in the USSR as the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic after the Russian Revolution. Following Mikhael Gorbachev's democratic reforms in the USSR, in 1990 pro-independence candidate Askar Akayev was elected president of the SSR. On 31 August 1991, Kyrgyzstan declared independence from Moscow, and a democratic government was subsequently established.

Politics of Kyrgyzstan Political system of Kyrgyzstan

The Politics of Kyrgyzstan, officially known as the Kyrgyz Republic takes place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan is head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Kyrgyzstan a "hybrid regime" in 2019.

President of Kyrgyzstan

The President of Kyrgyzstan is the head of state and the highest official of the Kyrgyz Republic. The president, according to the constitution, "is the symbol of the unity of people and state power, and is the guarantor of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, and of an individual and citizen." The president is directly elected for no more than one six-year term by the Kyrgyz electorate. The office of president was established in 1990 replacing the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet that existed, in different forms, from 1927 whilst the country was known as the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic.

Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan

The prime minister of Kyrgyzstan is the head of government of Kyrgyzstan. Until 2010, the president was in a stronger position than the prime minister in Kyrgyzstan, but after the 2010 constitutional referendum, the state transitioned to a parliamentary system, placing greater power in parliament and the cabinet at the expense of the president.

Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan

The Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan is a political party in Kyrgyzstan. Members formed the party on 1 October 1993, but did not register with the Justice Ministry until 16 December 1994. Abdygany Erkebaev served as the party's first chairman. Almazbek Atambayev replaced him on 30 July 1999. The majority of the party's membership is drawn from the country's entrepreneurs.

Almazbek Atambayev Kyrgyz politician

Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev is a Kyrgyz politician who served as the President of Kyrgyzstan from 1 December 2011 to 24 November 2017. He was Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan from 17 December 2010 to 1 December 2011, and from 29 March 2007 to 28 November 2007. He served as Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) from 30 July 1999 to 23 September 2011. Recently he was imprisoned, facing charges of corruption and manslaughter. On 5 October 2020, election protestors freed Atambayev from prison. After a failed assassination attempt, however, he was imprisoned again on 10 October.

2009 Kyrgyz presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Kyrgyzstan on 23 July 2009. The date was set after the constitutional court ruled that the extension of the presidential term from four to five years did not apply until the next presidential election, calling for elections by 25 October 2009; in response, a parliament committee proposed the July election date, which was then passed by the incumbent president Kurmanbek Bakiyev's Ak Jol-dominated parliament. Bakiyev had previously announced his intention to run for reelection. Bakiyev was re-nominated on 1 May 2009.

2011 Kyrgyz presidential election

Early presidential elections were held in Kyrgyzstan on 30 October 2011 to replace Interim President Roza Otunbayeva. Former Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan won in the first round.

Ömürbek Babanov

Ömürbek Toktogulovich Babanov is a Kyrgyz politician who was Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan from 1 December 2011 to 1 September 2012. Before his appointment as Prime Minister, he was Deputy Prime Minister in the Government of Almazbek Atambayev. He was also acting Prime Minister from 23 September 2011 until 14 November 2011, as the Prime Minister Atambayev was a candidate in the presidential election. He again became acting Prime Minister on 1 December 2011 when Atambayev took office as President. He was confirmed by Parliament on 23 December 2011. On 1 September 2012 Babanov resigned as Prime Minister.

Sooronbay Jeenbekov Kyrgyz politician

Sooronbay Sharipovich Jeenbekov is a Kyrgyz politician who served as President of Kyrgyzstan from 2017 to 2020, until his resignation following a week of protests. He was also the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan from April 2016 to August 2017.

2017 Kyrgyz presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Kyrgyzstan on 15 October 2017. Incumbent President Almazbek Atambayev was not allowed to run again because the constitution sets a single six-year term for the head of state. Eleven candidates registered for the race, and from this field Sooronbay Jeenbekov of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan won more than 50% of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Following certification of the results on 30 October, Jeenbekov was inaugurated as President of Kyrgyzstan on 24 November.

Events from the year 2017 in Kyrgyzstan

Sapar Isakov

Sapar Jumakadyrovich Isakov is a Kyrgyz politician who was Prime Minister from 26 August 2017 to 19 April 2018. Previously he was chief of staff for President Almazbek Atambayev.

Inauguration of Sooronbay Jeenbekov

The Inauguration of Sooronbay Jeenbekov as the President of Kyrgyzstan took place on November 24, 2017, in the Enesay reception house of the Ala Archa State Residence in Bishkek. The inauguration was declared the first peaceful transition of power in Kyrgyzstan in its 26-year history by foreign analyst.

Parliamentary elections were held in Kyrgyzstan on 4 October 2020. The results showed that pro-government parties had won a supermajority of seats. The election was subsequently annulled by the Central Election Commission during the 2020 Kyrgyzstan protests.

Events from the year 2020 in Kyrgyzstan.

Chynybaĭ Tursunbekov Kyrgyz politician

Chynybai Akunovich Tursunbekov was a Kyrgyz politician.

My Homeland Kyrgyzstan

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Sadyr Nurgozhoevich Japarov[sɑdɯr nurʁodʒojevit͡ʃ d͡ʒɑpɑrov] is a Kyrgyz politician currently serving as president and prime minister of Kyrgyzstan in the interim government following the resignation of Sooronbay Jeenbekov amidst electoral protests.

The 2020 interim government of Kyrgyzstan is the 25th government of Kyrgyzstan that was formed during the 2020 Kyrgyzstan protests which resulted in opposition groups seizing government buildings during the aftermath of the first 2020 parliamentary election. Sadyr Japarov was nominated as the acting Prime Minister by the MP's on 10 October 2020 who was approved by President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on 14 October which resulted in formation of a cabinet. The following day on 15 October, Jeenbekov stepped down from his post which resulted in Japarov becoming the acting president. This marked the first time in Kyrgyzstan history of a person hold the duties of a President and PM at the same time.


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