Thousands have taken to the streets in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan over allegations of rigged elections in the country on Sunday, the BBC reports.
Police in the capital city have used tear gas, water cannons and stun grenades to break up gatherings, according to the BBC. More protests have begun popping up in other cities as well, per BBC reports.
A dirty election in Kyrgyzstan has in one fell swoop united a fractured opposition and brought thousands onto the street. Impressive own goal (Photo: https://t.co/bIKxXdE7ai) pic.twitter.com/ubgRp8Mlmy
— Peter Leonard (@Peter__Leonard) October 5, 2020
Three of the four parties that won seats in parliamentary elections over the weekend have close ties to President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, the BBC says. One opposition candidate told a crowd of thousands that “the president promised to oversee honest elections. He didn’t keep his word,” according to the BBC.
Thomas Boserup, an official for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said that allegations of vote buying are a “serious concern”, per the BBC. Other international watchdogs have said the accusations of vote-buying and intimidation are “credible”, says the BBC.
Opposition parties in the country are demanding that the Central Electoral Commission cancel the result of the vote. In the meantime, they’re saying that they won’t recognize the results, the BBC reports. (RELATED: Now Another Country Is Allegedly Getting Involved In The Violent Battle Between 2 Ex-Soviet Republics)
The controversy comes in the wake of growing demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus. Up to 100,000 protestors packed the streets of Minsk in response to what has been called a “fraudulent” election in August, the BBC reports. Hundreds have been detained by police in the eastern European nation, which is also an ex-Soviet state.