New coalition formed in Kyrgyzstan

New coalition formed in Kyrgyzstan

Parties which ousted authoritarian Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev have formed a coalition after weeks of debate following national elections in October, local media quoted a parliamentary spokesman as saying Tuesday, dpa reported.

The three-party alliance is led by the Social Democrats, whose leader Almasbek Atambayev, 54, is expected to become prime minister. The pro-Russian politician once held the post under Bakiyev.

The new leader's main task will be to steer the Central Asia republic bordering China out of the crisis it has been in since the overthrow of Bakiyev earlier this year.

Other members of the coalition are the leftist Ata Meken (Homeland) party and the new Respublika party founded by oil businessman Omurbek Babanov.

The Ata Zhurt party won most seats in the 120-member national assembly on October 10 but was not asked to form a coalition because many of its members were closely linked to the Bakiyev regime.

   That job went to the Social Democrats, which count President Roza Otunbayeva among their ranks. The new coalition has 67 seats in the legislature.

The former Soviet republic has been gripped by tension since Bakiyev was deposed in April and ethnic violence between Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks in June in which around 2,000 people died.

Authorities increased security on Tuesday in the capital, Bishkek, following a bomb explosion.

Analysts said the new coalition will have to get to grips with the ethnic problem as well as overcome divisions between the nomad- inhabited north and the predominantly Islam south.

   The election was Kyrgyzstan's first-ever democratic poll, setting it apart from its neighbours in Central Asia - Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan - which are dictatorships or semi-dictatorships.

During the campaign, Atambeyev was the only candidate received by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Russia has troops stationed in the country and provides it with financial support.

The US also has an military base which it uses to supply its troops in Afghanistan.

Bakiyev now lives in exile in Belarus.

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