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Kyrgyz Government Falls As Coalition Partner Withdraws

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev
BISHKEK-- Kyrgyzstan's Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party has announced its withdrawal from the ruling coalition, which means the government has effectively been dissolved.

Ata-Meken leader Omurbek Tekebaev announced the party's departure from the coalition after a meeting of the parliamentary Ata-Meken faction on March 18.

The party said Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev had lost the moral right to continue in his post after a criminal boss was prematurely released from prison last year and subsequently fled the country.

The party also cited Satybaldiev's inability to resolve the issue of boosting Kyrgyzstan's share in the Kumtor gold-mining project.

Ata-Meken was part of a ruling coalition formed in September 2012 that included the Social Democratic Party and Ar-Namys (Dignity).

Ministers will stay on in their posts until a new government can be formed.

With reporting by KyrTAg and