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Kyrgyzstan's president begins process of rebuilding

Kyrgyzstan must form a government within 15 days after its coalition collapsed under an economic crisis and corruption allegations. The president may pick the next prime minister from outside the main political groups.

Two of four parties withdrew from Kyrgyzstan's ruling coalition, leaving President Almazbek Atambayev to dissolve the government Friday; he now must unite various factions. The withdrawal of the Ata-Meken and Ar-Namys parties in protest against economic woes and possible corruption cost Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov's Respublika party and the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan their parliamentary majority. Deputies from Ata-Meken and Ar-Namys also called for Babanov's resignation.

"We need a new elite capable of coping with this force majeure: an elite that can end this stalemate," the political analyst Mars Sariyev told the news agency Reuters.

The collapse of the government puts the former Soviet state at risk of further political turmoil. Parliamentary deputies warn that the country could default on foreign debt - at $2.8 billion (2.24 billion euros), over half of gross domestic product. Decreased output at the Kumtor gold mine was in part responsible for a drop of five percentage points in GDP since the beginning of 2012.

Atambayev has three days to appoint a party to try to form a new coalition, which will in turn have 15 days to do so. Pending the formation of the new government, the prime minister and cabinet will remain in charge.

Analysts' potential picks to lead the government include Deputy Prime Minister Joomart Otorbayev, head of the presidential administration Zhantoro Satybaldiyev, and Elmir Ibraimov, who runs the state development and investment agency.

Babanov's spokesman has denied the corruption allegations.

mkg/pfd (AFP, Reuters)