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Kyrgyz Demonstrators Gather For Protest


http://gdb.rferl.org/BCD51EEB-F1A3-4F8D-BE60-9B71638958B6_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/BCD51EEB-F1A3-4F8D-BE60-9B71638958B6_mw800_mh600.jpg Demonstrators gathering in bishkek on November 2 (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, November 2, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz opposition supporters have started gathering in front of the parliament's building, near Bishkek's central Alatoo Square, to press for constitutional and other reforms, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Pro-government demonstrators have rallied nearby to voice their support to President Kurmanbek Bakiev and his team. The two rallies are separated by dozens of security officers.

Meanwhile, inside the building, Bakiev made a brief address to parliament. He pledged to submit his own constitutional draft for parliament's consideration on Monday (November 6) and urged lawmakers to examine and accept it as soon as possible.

"On Monday, I will personally deliver my draft. I swear it," he said. "Please, review this document for 10 days but do not drag this out, because if parliament cannot adopt it what am I supposed to do? I will have to call a referendum."

The opposition accuses Bakiev of reneging on preelection pledges to curtail his prerogatives and give more powers to parliament.

Leaders of the For Reforms opposition movement say the protest movement will last until Bakiev fulfill his promises.

Meanwhile, addressing police forces ahead of the rally, acting Interior Minister Osmonali Guronov today denounced what he called "those dark forces that seek to seize power through illegal means."

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