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New government formed in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK, December 27 (RIA Novosti) - Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed decrees Thursday appointing new Cabinet ministers, the presidential press service said.

Four newcomers have been appointed in the new cabinet, former Bishkek mayor Arstanbek Nogoyev is the agriculture minister, Marat Mambetov health minister, Tazhikan Kalimbetova, former head of the Social Fund, has been handed the post of finance minister, and Saparbek Balkibekov is the new industry and energy minister.

Former finance minister Akylbek Zhaparov has taken over as economic development and trade minister, with the remaining posts being retained by ministers from the previous cabinet.

The Kyrgyz parliament elected a new prime minister and speaker Monday, following parliamentary elections December 16 which saw a landslide victory for the presidential Ak Zhol party.

Ex-energy minister Igor Chudinov from the ruling Ak Zhol party was elected as prime minister, while the former state secretary, Adakhan Madumarov, overwhelmingly (79-8) won parliamentary support for the post of speaker.

Chudinov said Monday commenting on the makeup he was not going to make "any drastic changes" to the current Cabinet, which has been running the country since former premier Almazbek Atambayev resigned in October.

"I myself worked in this government and it is very efficient," the premier said, adding that he would be concentrating on growth and economic policy.

Kyrgyzstan voted December 16 in early parliamentary elections expected to end two years of political upheaval in the ex-Soviet state. President Bakiyev's Ak Zhol party won 71 of the 90 seats in parliament, with the moderate Social Democratic and Communist Party winning 11 and eight seats, respectively.

Kyrgyzstan's main opposition party, Ata Meken, failed to win any parliamentary seats despite coming second, garnering 8.7% of the vote, due to a complicated threshold system, which meant that the party missed out on seats by a mere handful of votes.

Police in the country's capital, Bishkek, arrested last week about 20 people protesting against the election results, which have attracted international condemnation and criticism from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for a lack of transparency and failing to meet standards.

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