Voters back parties supporting President Sadyr Zhaparov, according to preliminary results of parliamentary election in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation.

Kyrgyzstan's President Sadyr Japarov talks to his wife Aigul, who casts her ballot at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on November 28, 2021.
Kyrgyzstan's President Sadyr Japarov talks to his wife Aigul, who casts her ballot at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on November 28, 2021. (Reuters)

Voters in Kyrgyzstan have backed parties supporting the country's new president, according to preliminary results.

Sunday's parliamentary election came just over a year after a forceful change of government in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation.

President Sadyr Zhaparov was elected in January following protests that ousted his predecessor.

He had expected that Sunday's ballot would further cement his grip on power.

With over 90 percent of precincts counted, three blocs supporting Zhaparov emerged as the top vote-getters.

Some opposition parties quickly challenged the results, accusing authorities of vote-rigging.  

Zhaparov quickly agreed to the demand to do the recount, saying that all ballots should remain at precincts until it’s completed. 

In a statement on Facebook, he insisted that the authorities didn’t meddle in the vote, and promised that the Central Election Commission members will be brought to justice if it’s found that they tinkered with the count.

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

Plans of 'armed coup'

Tensions had risen in the country ahead of the vote, with Zhaparov accusing his political foes of plotting a mutiny and warning that those who try to stage post-election riots would face prosecution.

"Some politicians are planning an armed coup," Zhaparov said. "We know them all, and after the vote we will take harsh measures against them."

Speaking to the nation after the vote, the Kyrgyz leader hailed the election as "honest and fair" and again threatened "harsh measures" against those who would "attempt to undermine peace and stability."

Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous landlocked nation of 6.5 million people that borders China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

It is a member of Russia-dominated economic and security alliances, hosts a Russian airbase and depends on Moscow's financial support.  

Clan rivalries

Zhaparov had been serving an 11 1/2 year sentence on charges of abducting a regional governor.

He was freed by stone-throwing supporters who challenged the results of the October 2020 parliamentary election.

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.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies