In a setback for Kyrgyzstan’s experiment in parliamentary democracy, the Central Asian nation’s governing coalition collapsed even before it could formally take power. Now, the legislature remains rudderless, as political leaders enter into a new round of negotiations to produce a government.
In late November, three Kyrgyz parties represented in parliament – the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), Respublika and Ata-Meken – announced a tentative coalition deal. On December 2, however, that deal fell apart when, in a secret ballot of MPs, Omurbek Tekebayev, the leader of Ata-Meken, failed to secure legislative confirmation as parliamentary speaker. Tekebayev is a political figure who is reviled by Russia, Kyrgyzstan’s most important patron. Moscow’s disapproval appears to have induced at least some SDPK and/or Respublika MPs to vote against Tekebayev’s candidacy. There are even rumors circulating in Bishkek that some of his own Ata-Meken deputies may have voted against him. The proposed governing coalition would have controlled 67 of the 120 seats in parliament.
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David Trilling is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor. Natasha Yefimov contributed reporting to this article.