BISHKEK (Reuters) - Four parties jointly holding a majority in Kyrgyzstan's parliament agreed on Monday to establish a coalition and back incumbent Prime Minister Temir Sariyev, a move widely expected after the parties' success in the elections last month.
The smooth transition will keep the mainly Muslim ex-Soviet nation of six million, which saw two presidents toppled by revolutions in 2005 and 2010, firmly in Moscow's orbit.
The Social Democrats, who led the coalition in the previous legislature, and are closely linked to pro-Russian President Almazbek Atambayev, retained their leading role in the new bloc, which also includes Kyrgyzstan, Onuguu-Progress and Ata Meken.
The four parties, whose leaders announced the move at a joint briefing, control 80 out of 120 seats in the parliament, making it very likely that their candidate Sariyev will remain prime minister, a post he has already held for six months.
Russia, which fears an advance of militant Islam in the region, operates a military air base in Kyrgyzstan.
(Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Richard Balmforth)