Preliminary results of Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary elections have sparked claims of rigging, calls for a recount.

Parties needed to pass a 5 percent threshold to win any seats.
Parties needed to pass a 5 percent threshold to win any seats. (AP)

Opposition supporters in Kyrgyzstan have rallied to challenge the results of a parliamentary election that was swept by parties loyal to the country's president.

About 100 protesters gathered outside the Central Election Commission's office on Monday, demanding a recount.

With over 97 percent of precincts counted, three blocs supporting Zhaparov emerged as the top vote-getters with three other parties trailing behind. 

At least four parties – Ata Meken, Azattyk, Uluttar Birimdigi, and Social Democrats – have contested the results, accusing authorities of rigging the vote and demanding a recount.

Zhaparov quickly agreed to the demand to do the recount, saying in a Facebook statement on late Sunday that all ballots should remain at precincts until it’s completed.

Gismat Gozalov, head of the Organization of Turkic States’ observer group, said the polls were fair and democratic, while the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) termed them transparent and credible.

Yerik Ashimov, leader of the SCO mission, said no irregularities had been recorded that could put into question the legitimacy of the vote.

READ MORE: Kyrgyzstan vote boosts Zhaparov's clout amid rigging allegations

Zhaparov's term

Sunday's election came just over a year after a forceful change of government in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation that propelled Sadyr Zhaparov to the presidency.

Zhaparov was serving an 11 1/2-year sentence on charges of abducting a regional governor amid a dispute over a gold mine when he was freed by stone-hurling supporters who challenged the results of the October 2020 parliamentary election.

After his election in January, Zhaparov pushed for a referendum that approved a new constitution that substantially increased presidential powers at the expense of parliament. 

It reduced the size of the country’s parliament from 120 to 90 seats and gave the president the power to appoint judges and the heads of law enforcement agencies.

Last year’s unrest marked the third violent ouster of the country’s leader in 15 years. 

Like uprisings that toppled presidents in 2005 and 2010, the 2020 turmoil was driven by clan rivalries that shape the country’s politics.

READ MORE: Kyrgyzstan's security services detain 15 in 'coup plot' ahead of vote

Source: TRTWorld and agencies