New coalition government in Kyrgyzstan
An agreement to form a new coalition government was signed in Bishkek on Monday this week. Shantoro Satybaldiev has been appointed as new Prime Minister, coming from the post as chief of staff at the president’s office. The new government was approved by the Parliament on 5th of September. The new coalition consist of three political parties; The Social Democrats, Ar-Namys (Dignity), and Ata-Meken (Fatherland). Together they hold a 69-seat majority in the 120 seat parliament.
The previous coalition government collapsed in Kyrgyzstan at the end of August, allegedly due to differences between the then Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov and two of the parties in the coalition, the Ar-Namys and Aka-Meken. The party of the outgoing Prime Minister Babanov, the Respublika party, and the Ata-Jurt (Homeland) party will now move into opposition. Reports from Bishkek suggest that the new ruling coalition looks much like the old one as three of the four parties that made up the former coalition will stay in power. It is also expected that that only a few ministers will be replaced.
Shantoro Satybaldiev is a member of the president’s party, The Social Democrats. He is 56 years old, and has previously held the post as Minister for Transport and Communication, as well as been Mayor of Osh city and Governor of Osh Province. To the international donor community he is known as head of the state agency responsible for rebuilding Osh and Jalalabad after the ethnic violence in 2010. Coming from the south himself, commentators believe that he can ease the ethnic tensions between the north and the south, following the violent unrest in 2010.