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BISHKEK -- Ten former opposition deputies in the Kyrgyz parliament say they defected to the majority coalition bloc in order to ensure peace, harmony, and cooperation among ethnic groups and political parties, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The former Ar-Namys (Dignity) party members said in a statement on April 19 that they did not make any deals with the leadership of the ruling Ata-Jurt (Fatherland), Respublika, and Social Democratic parties and have not asked for any government posts in exchange for their allegiance.

"We all have to put aside our personal interests, our group or party ambitions, and think about the nation, about Kyrgyz statehood," the statement says.

On April 15, the government's press service announced that Ar-Namys faction members Anvar Artykov, Zamir Bekboev, Esengul Isakov, Kanybek Imanaliev, Abdyrakhman Mamataliev, Tokon Mamytov, Kojobek Ryspaev, Kamila Talieva, Nurlan Torobekov, and Talantbek Uzakbaev sent a letter to Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev expressing their support for the coalition.

The deputies wrote in a joint letter that their decision was based on an analysis of the current political situation and the government's responsibility for the country's development.

Artykov confirmed that he and his colleagues want to join the majority. The move would leave the Ar-Namys parliament faction with 15 deputies. There are 120 seats in the unicameral parliament. Ar-Namys is one of two opposition parties represented in the chamber.

On April 18, Ar-Namys party leaders called the move by its members illegal because it was made before they officially quit the Ar-Namys parliament faction.

It is still unclear whether the Ar-Namys party members' application to join the parliament majority has been accepted and how that can be done legally.

Read more in Kyrgyz here
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