Violence continued, however, fueled largely by Japarov’s supporters, who hurled rocks and other projectiles at the followers of a rival would-be prime minister, Omurbek Babanov, and attacked journalists. Several shots were fired.
The unrest began with a wave of public anger over the victory of pro-government parties last Sunday in a parliamentary election tainted by credible allegations of widespread vote-buying. Protesters stormed jails and government buildings, sending the president into hiding.
The election results were then quickly annulled, opening the way for a new vote, but the turmoil escalated as rival opposition politicians began fighting for government posts, unleashing mobs of young men to confront each other on the street.
Arkady Dubnov, a Central Asia expert in Moscow, said the new prime minister, Japarov, who just days ago was serving an 11½-year sentence for organizing the 2013 kidnapping of a regional governor, had prevailed “because his supporters turned out to be the strongest.”
It was unclear whether he would serve a full term or be forced to step down once new parliamentary elections are held to replace last week’s annulled vote.