Kyrgyz President Declares Martial Law in Capital Amid Protests

(Bloomberg) — Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov declared martial law in the capital, Bishkek, Friday in an attempt to curtail the political chaos that has rocked the country since disputed parliamentary elections.

A curfew from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. will be in place until the state of emergency ends on Oct. 21, according to an order from the presidential administration. The head of Kyrgyzstan’s Interior Ministry was appointed the city’s commandant.

The move was an attempt to reassert Jeenbekov’s authority after demonstrators protesting the results of Sunday’s election overran the parliament building and released a former president from jail. Parties close to Jeenbekov had dominated the disputed vote.

Street protests were continuing Friday, according to videos posted by local news website

Earlier Friday, Jeenbekov dissolved the government and fired the head of the military and the chairman of the security council in a series of executive orders.

In a separate statement, he said he was willing to resign as soon as the nation established legitimate executive power, and called for a new vote to stabilize the country.

Kyrgyzstan, a country of 6.5 million, is one of the pootest countries in central Asia, economically reliant on remittances from workers abroad, agriculture and minerals production. A close Russian ally, the country is a member of the Moscow-led Eurasian Union. Two of its presidents have been toppled by popular protests since 2005.

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