By Olga Dzyubenko
BISHKEK, March 18 Kyrgyzstan's ruling coalition
fell apart on Tuesday, depriving Prime Minister Zhantoro
Satybaldiyev of his parliamentary majority, in a row over
alleged corruption in the Central Asian nation.
The prime minister enjoys significant executive powers in
Kyrgyzstan, which remains volatile after two popular uprisings
that have deposed two presidents since 2005.
"The majority coalition is now disbanded," Felix Kulov, the
majority bloc's leader, told Reuters, saying he had informed the
president and parliament speaker in writing.
"The president is now to announce that the government is an
acting one," he said, "and he has three days to task a
parliamentary faction to form a majority coalition and propose a
nominee for prime minister."
The Ata Meken party left the ruling coalition earlier on
Tuesday, accusing the prime minister of abuse of office and
misappropriation of state and foreign funds and aid when he was
in charge of helping the south recover from bloody ethnic
clashes in June 2010.
Satybaldiyev, who has led the cabinet since September 2012,
and his spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Under the constitution, President Almazbek Atambayev can
disband parliament and call an early election if the assembly
fails to elect a new premier in three consecutive votes.
"Satybaldiyev has exhausted his moral and political outfit
and can no longer occupy this high political post," Ata Meken
said in a statement.
Ata Meken is the smallest of parliament's five factions, but
its support was crucial to Saybaldiyev's majority bloc.
Satybaldiyev, 58, a soft-spoken technocrat who says he is
non-partisan, is a key figure in talks with Canada's Centerra
Gold, Kyrgyzstan's main foreign investor, to form a new
gold venture to develop the Kumtor gold mine near the border
He has rejected opposition calls to nationalise the mine,
which alone accounted for 7.7 percent of Kyrgyzstan's economic
output, 24 percent of industrial production and 36.5 percent of
all exports last year.
Last month parliament gave the government up to four months
to complete a draft deal with Centerra Gold on forming a new,
50-50 joint venture.
Kyrgyzstan stands out for its efforts to build a genuine
parliamentary system in a region where autocrats in other
post-Soviet states treat national assemblies as rubber stamps.
The impoverished, mainly Muslim country of 5.5 million, lies
on a drug trafficking route out of Afghanistan and hosts a
Russian military air base. In July, the U.S. Air Force is set to
leave a base set up in Kyrgyzstan in 2001.