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Kyrgyz Opposition Says Members' Defection To Coalition Is 'Illegal'

Feliks Kulov, leader of Kyrgyzstan's opposition Ar Namys (Dignity) Party

Feliks Kulov, leader of Kyrgyzstan's opposition Ar Namys (Dignity) Party

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's opposition Ar-Namys (Dignity) party says a decision by 10 of its members to join the ruling majority in parliament is illegal because it was made before they quit the Ar-Namys parliament faction, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The party said in a statement issued today that it is impossible to be in an opposition party and simultaneously be a part of the ruling majority coalition.

Ar-Namys said party leader Feliks Kulov and Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev on April 14 discussed cooperation between the ruling coalition and Ar-Namys, one of two opposition parties in parliament.

The Ar-Namys statement added that talks have been held with some members of the party about their intention to join the majority faction, which consists of the Ata-Jurt (Fatherland), Respublika, and Social Democratic parties.

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 Atambaev expressing their support for the coalition.

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

One of the defectors, Artykov, confirmed that he and his colleagues want to join the majority. The move would leave the Ar-Namys parliament faction with 15 deputies.

Read more in Kyrgyz here