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Parliament backs new Kyrgyz PM as crisis solution sought

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BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan’s parliament on Wednesday gave its blessing to populist Sadyr Japarov as prime minister, with the Central Asian state seeking a path out of crisis following an annulled election.

Japarov, who was freed from jail by supporters last week, has made several attempts to secure the post since unrest over the parliamentary election threatened to displace the central government.

His latest effort was delayed after President Sooronbay Jeenbekov said he could not sign off on the appointment unless parliament could achieve a quorum.

On Wednesday, more than 80 lawmakers from the 120-member parliament attended an extraordinary session and Japarov secured the backing of the ruling coalition.

Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked republic of 6.5 million people, has had two presidents overthrown by street protests since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Jeenbekov said last week he was prepared to resign over the latest crisis, which was sparked by allegations of vote-buying in the parliamentary election.

The results were annulled but more than 1,200 were injured and one killed during clashes between protesters and police.

Jeenbekov’s position appeared to be bolstered on Tuesday when parliament appointed a speaker from a pro-presidential party, hinting that a compromise had been struck with Japarov.

The conflict has drawn involvement from key ally Moscow, with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff Dmitry Kozak flying in for talks with Japarov and Jeenbekov this week. — AFP

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