Three political parties in Kyrgyzstan have agreed to form a governing coalition, two weeks after a previous alliance collapsed amid disagreement.
The Respublika party announced today it will join a coalition with two of the four other political parties that won seats in October's parliamentary elections -- the Social Democratic Party and the Ata-Jurt Party.
Top officials from both those parties -- Social Democrat Chynybai Tursunbekov and Kamchybek Tashiev of Ata-Jurt -- later confirmed their parties would join the coalition.
Dosaly Esenaliev, a Respublika representative, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service the official announcement of the coalition would come on December 16.
"Three parties have already agreed on all points," Esenaliev said.
President Roza Otunbaeva tasked Respublika on December 4 with forming a coalition after a previous attempt by the Social Democratic Party failed at the start of December.
Ata-Jurt and the Social Democrats won the largest number of seats in parliament -- 28 and 26, respectively. Together with Respublika, the new coalition would have 77 of the 120 seats in parliament.
Respublika also said the three parties had agreed on key posts in the government, with Social Democrat leader Almazbek Atambaev due to be nominated for the post of prime minister.
Ata-Jurt leader Akhmatbek Keldibekov is due to be nominated for speaker of parliament. Respublika leader Omurbek Babanov is expected to be nominated to be first deputy prime minister.
After the coalition agreement is formally signed on December 16, parliament is expected to convene as early as December 17 to consider the coalition's nominations.
The Ata-Meken Party, which won 18 seats in elections, announced at the start of this week it would not join a coalition with Respublika and was prepared to be the opposition in parliament.
The other party – Ar-Namys – indicated on December 14 that it would not join Respublika's coalition. Leader Feliks Kulov said his party would also go into opposition.
Ata-Meken and Ar-Namys are far apart in their views, with Ata-Meken being a more liberal, Western-leaning party and Ar-Namys a more conservative, pro-Russian party.
Kyrgyzstan has been without a government since the October 10 elections.
Influential political figures have warned the country is in crisis and needs a government to start tackling the problems Kyrgyzstan is facing. The country suffers from chronic energy shortages, especially acute in winter, a lagging economy, and has no budget for 2011.
There is also an ongoing strike by teachers demanding higher wages and warnings from administrative and security officials in the south of the country that the danger from armed militants is growing.
written by Bruce Pannier and Merhat Sharipzhan, with contributions from RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service and agency reports