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Kyrgyzstan's New Parliament Holds First Session


Members of local electoral committee empty a ballot box at a polling station in Osh, southern Kyrgyzsta, Sunday, 10 Oct. 2010.

Members of local electoral committee empty a ballot box at a polling station in Osh, southern Kyrgyzsta, Sunday, 10 Oct. 2010.

Kyrgyzstan's newly-elected parliament convened for its first session Wednesday, setting the stage for coalition talks among the five political parties that won seats.

President Roza Otunbayeva appealed to the political leaders Wednesday to choose a prime minister and form a government by November 27.

Kyrgyzstan has been plagued by instability since a deadly uprising in April that toppled then-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Riots broke out in June between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks in the south of the country, killing hundreds of people and displacing some 400,000 others.

Elections were held last month, with the nationalist party Ata-Zhurt, or Fatherland, emerging as the lead vote-getter.

Ata-Zhurt is now charged with leading talks to form a coalition government.

The United States, which operates a military air base in Kyrgyzstan to support the war in Afghanistan, has embraced the Kyrgyz effort to create the region's first parliamentary democracy.

Russia, which also has an air base in Kyrgyzstan, opposes the parliamentary model.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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