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Kyrgyz parliament appoints new PM as troops are deployed in Bishkek

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Kyrgyz parliament appoints new PM as troops are deployed in Bishkek
Copyright  Vladimir Voronin/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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Kyrgyzstan's parliament used emergency powers on Saturday to appoint a new prime minister in a move to end a week of unrest in the country.

Lawmaker Sadyr Zhaparov was appointed during the session in which proxy votes were used by those inside the chamber to achieve the necessary quorum.

He had been nominated for the role on Tuesday by the country's president Sooronbai Jeenbekov, but the move was contested by opposition groups following Sunday's disputed parliamentary election in which government parties swept the seats in the chamber.

Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission overturned the election result following pressure from the opposition.

Thousands of protesters stormed government buildings earlier this week, prompting President Jeenbekov to declare a state of emergency. He also deployed troops in the capital Bishkek to enforce a nightly 9pm-5am curfew.

The protesters freed former president Almazbek Atambayev, who is now an opposition figure and had been serving an 11-year prison sentence on corruption charges.

He addressed a rally on Friday in which he called those wanting to take control of the country "criminals and bandits".

After accepting the post of prime minister on Saturday night, Zhaparov said: "After gaining a deep understanding of the political situation in the country, everyone has taken a step toward returning to legality and deciding to stabilise the present situation in adherence with the law."

This week's unrest marks the third time in 15 years that demonstrators have sought to topple the government in Kyrgyzstan, where clan rivalries have driven many of the protests.