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Kyrgyz Ruling Coalition Collapses


Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov's government took power in April. The president now has three working days to ask a parliamentary party to form a new coalition.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has withdrawn from the ruling coalition in Kyrgyzstan's parliament, meaning that the coalition cabinet of Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov will have to resign.

SDP faction leader Isa Omurkulov said on October 24 that the decision to withdraw from the six-party coalition was made at a party meeting earlier the same day "because of irreconcilable political views."

The SDP was headed by President Almazbek Atambaev before his election as president.

The move comes amid tensions within the six-party coalition over holding a referendum on constitutional changes.

Two parties within the ruling coalition -- Ata-Meken (Fatherland) and Onuguu (Progress) -- opposed the constitutional changes, which would expand the powers of the prime minister and parliament and reform Kyrgyzstan's judicial system.

Civil society activists and opposition groups have also criticized the proposals, accusing Atambaev of seeking to extend his grip on power.

Kyrgyzstan's current constitution was adopted in June 2010 after mass protests toppled then-President Kurmanbek Bakiev. A clause in the 2010 constitution prohibits making amendments to the text before 2020.

Jeenbekov's government took power in April following the resignation of his predecessor, Temir Sariev.

President Atambaev now has three working days to ask a parliamentary party to form a new coalition.