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Kyrgyzstan Launches Second Attempt To Form Coalition

President Roza Otunbaeva is trying to put together a coalition government
Kyrgyzstan's troubled new parliament has renewed its attempt to form a coalition, just days after its first alliance collapsed.

President Roza Otunbaeva on December 4 instructed the head of the Respublika party, Omurbek Babanov, to start forming a coalition government.

Otunbaeva's spokesman, Sultan Kanazarov, told RFE/RL that "After addressing the leader of the Social Democrat Party, Almazbek Atambev, President Roza Otunbaeva held consultations with leaders of all five factions on December 3."

"Today [December 4] as a result of these consultations, she tasked Respublika party leader Omurbek Babanov with forming a parliamentary majority and subsequently a government," Kanazarov said.

Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary elections on October 10 failed to produce a clear winner in a new legislature designed to devolve power to the prime minister from the president. Former President Kurmanbek Bakiev was deposed in a bloody April uprising that was followed by the worst ethnic violence in the nation's modern history.

After weeks of tense negotiations, three of the five parties elected to parliament agreed on November 30 to form a coalition -- the Social Democrats, the Ata-Meken party, and Babanov's recently founded Respublika party.

The two other parties -- the Ata-Jurt party that scored highest in the vote and the pro-Russian Ar-Namys party -- oppose the alliance and say a fragmented parliament will hamper the adoption of badly needed reform.

But only two days later, the coalition split when it narrowly failed to elect a new speaker.

Babanov now has 15 working days to unite the fractious parliament. If he fails, the legislature will be granted only one more try -- according to Kyrgyzstan's constitution, new elections must be held after three unsuccessful attempts to form a government.

Some analysts said Babanov may have a better chance than others of rallying support for a parliamentary alliance since his party includes members from both the northern and the southern political clans.

Written by Claire Bigg with reporting from RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service
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