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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Adopt New Language Law

Bishkek, 5 February 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz lawmakers today adopted a new language law making Kyrgyz the country's state language.

The Legislative Assembly, the Kyrgyz lower house of parliament, adopted the law, which has been debated for several months. The law now needs to be signed by President Askar Akaev.

State Secretary Osmonakun Ibraimov today said that the new law is not levelled against any other languages.

"This law is a good one, because, in accordance with it, the Kyrgyz language has found its own place in our society, and its new statute is in accordance with the constitution also. The law is not against any other languages, especially, it is not against the Russian language's statute," Ibraimov said.

Meanwhile, Kabai Karabekov, a Russian-speaking member of parliament, said that the law contradicts the Kyrgyz Constitution and that he will appeal to the Constitutional Court.