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Kyrgyzstan Forms New Coalition Government


Almazbek Atambayev, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, and the proposed new prime minister (FILE).

Almazbek Atambayev, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, and the proposed new prime minister (FILE).

Three political parties in Kyrgyzstan have formed a ruling coalition, ending weeks of political uncertainty following October's parliamentary elections.

Social Democrat Party leader Almazbek Atambayev said Tuesday his party has joined forces with the Ata-Meken and Respublika parties. Atambayev says he will become Kyrgyzstan's new prime minister.

Also Tuesday, an explosion in the Kyrgyz capital wounded two people outside the site of a court hearing for the country's deposed leader and other former officials. Authorities say the blast in Bishkek wounded two police officers outside the sports stadium where the hearing is being held.

Security officials said the attack likely was meant to intimidate people in the Central Asian Nation, where political tensions are high. The violence comes days ahead of a planned visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The formation of a new government is a turning point for the country that has been aggravated by political violence and a troubled south.

The new parliament will take on powers that were stripped from the presidency in a June referendum.
Five parties won parliamentary seats in the country's first democratic election. The Ata Zhurt party won the most seats in the 120-member national assembly, but failed to win a majority.

Ata Zhurt did not join the coalition because several of its members were closely linked to former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was overthrown in April in violent street protests. He lives in exile in Belarus.

A Kyrgyz court is hearing a case against Bakiyev and other former officials. They are accused of using violence against protesters in the deadly April uprisings that brought down the government.

Kyrgyzstan also is still reeling from several days of riots in June between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks that killed hundreds of people and displaced 400,000 others in the country's south.

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