Protesters demonstrate in Kyrgyzstan.
Protesters demonstrate in Kyrgyzstan.
PIC: AFP

The embattled president of Kyrgyzstan ordered a nearly two-week state of emergency Friday in the capital in a bid to end the political turmoil that has been sparked by a disputed parliamentary election.

President Sooronbai Jeenbekov decreed that the state of emergency, which starts at 8 p.m. Friday and runs through 8 a.m. on Oct. 21, could include a curfew and travel restrictions. He also ordered the military to deploy troops to Bishkek, the capital, to enforce the measure.

It was unclear whether police and the military would comply with the order.

Jeenbekov has faced calls to step down from hundreds of protesters who stormed government buildings the night after Sunday's parliamentary vote was reportedly swept by pro-government parties. The demonstrators also freed former President Almazbek Atambayev, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in June on charges of corruption and abuse of office that he and his supporters described as a political vendetta by Jeenbekov.

The turmoil marks a third time in 15 years that protesters have moved to topple a government in Kyrgyztsan, a Central Asian nation of 6.5 million that is one of the poorest to emerge from the former Soviet Union.

Like in the uprisings that ousted Kyrgyz presidents in 2005 and 2010, the current protests have been driven by clan rivalries that play a key role in the country's politics.

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