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Kyrgyz President Tasks Former Party With Forming Coalition

Recently sworn-in President Almazbek Atambaev (left) delivers the mandate for forming a new governing coalition to Social Democratic Party leader Chynybai Tursunbekov on December 8.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has tasked the Social Democratic Party, his former party, with taking the lead in forming a new ruling coalition in parliament.

Atambaev met with Social Democratic leader Chynybai Tursunbekov and told Tursunbekov not to form a coalition that would be primarily interested in holding on to power since that would lay the foundations for intrigues and dissent.

Atambaev, who took office on December 1 urging unity in the wake of a presidential ouster in 2010 and deadly ethnic violence two months later, told Tursunbekov that any new government should "first of all take into account the nation's interests."

"It will never do to organize some intrigues after signing any sort of agreements for just gaining powers, as it used to be before," Atambaev said in a presumed reference to the nepotism and personality-driven jockeying that followed the country's 2005 Tulip Revolution.

Tursunbekov said he would try to get four of the five parties represented in parliament into the new coalition.

Previous President Roza Otunbaeva also gave the Social Democrats the task of forming a majority coalition in parliament after the October 2010 parliamentary elections but the party -- led by Atambaev at the time -- couldn't muster sufficient support.

Both Otunbaeva and Atambaev are former members of the Social Democratic Party who left when they became presidents.

with additional agency reporting