Kyrgyzstan’s president steps down amid political unrest

Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbai Jeenbekov announced his resignation Thursday in a bid to end the turmoil that has engulfed the Central Asian nation after a disputed parliamentary election.

Jeenbekov, who has faced calls to step down from protesters and political opponents, said in a statement released by his office that holding onto power wasn’t “worth the integrity of our country and harmony in society.”

“For me, peace in Kyrgyzstan, the country’s integrity, the unity of our people and the calm in the society are above all else,” Jeenbekov said.

Kyrgyzstan, a country of 6.5 million people located on the border with China, was plunged into chaos following an Oct. 4 vote that election officials say was swept by pro-government parties. The opposition said the election was tainted by vote-buying and other irregularities.

Protesters then took over government buildings, looting some offices, and the Central Election Commission nullified the election. Opposition then announced plans to oust Jeenbekov and form a new government.

Jeenbekov kept a low profile in the first few days after the vote, using the infighting among protest leaders to dig in. He introduced a state of emergency in the capital, Bishkek, which

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