The acting president and prime minister of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Japarov, has resigned, his press service announced in a statement on Saturday.
“I have decided to resign as president of the country, as well as to suspend the powers of the prime minister of the Kyrgyz Republic,” Japarov is quoted as saying. “As an ordinary citizen, I will participate in the upcoming presidential elections.”
According to the law of succession, parliamentary speaker Talant Mamytov will act as president, and Japarov’s deputy Artyom Novikov will assume the office of prime minister.
Japarov assumed both offices in October, after contentious parliamentary elections and subsequent protests brought the country to a standstill. He had previously been serving an 11-year sentence in a penal colony for the alleged abduction of a political rival, but was released by supporters in the chaos that followed the election.
The new leader had promised the rescheduling of elections, originally due to be held before the end of the year. However, these have now been delayed until June 2021 to enable a series of constitutional changes aimed at limiting voter fraud to be passed. Critics fear that these changes could weaken voting rights in the Central Asian country.
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