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Karimov Seeks To Amend Uzbek Constitution --> Uzbek President Islam Karimov (file photo) (epa) November 9, 2006 -- Uzbek President Islam Karimov has submitted constitutional amendments to the parliament that he claims would give parties a greater role in the country's political life.

The two bills submitted by Karimov envision creating parliamentary groups and giving them a say in the choice of the prime minister and regional governors.

The independent UzMetronom website dismisses the proposed amendments as insignificant, however.

The proposed changes reportedly say the president should consult with parliamentary groups before nominating a candidate for the post of prime minister. But they would also allow Karimov to dismiss the parliament in case lawmakers refused to appoint his nominee after three votes.

The same procedure would apply for the governors of Tashkent and its region.

If adopted, the proposed amendments would come into force on January 1, 2008.

(UzA, UzMetronom)

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