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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Advance Bill For Referendum On Constitutional Amendments


The draft law will have to be signed by President Almazbek Atambaev before coming into force. (file photo)

The draft law will have to be signed by President Almazbek Atambaev before coming into force. (file photo)

Kyrgyzstan's parliament has advanced a draft law on holding a nationwide referendum on constitutional amendments.

In its first reading on September 29, the bill received support from 94 lawmakers in favor of conducting the referendum. Eleven lawmakers voted against the proposal.

The draft law still must be approved on its second and third readings by parliament and signed by President Almazbek Atambaev before coming into force.

The constitutional changes proposed by five political parties would widen the powers of the prime minister and parliament and reform the judicial system.

Civil society activists and opposition groups have criticized the proposals, accusing Atambaev of seeking to extend his grip on power.

Kyrgyzstan's current constitution was adopted in June 2010 after mass protests toppled then-President Kurmanbek Bakiev. A clause prohibits making amendments to the text before 2020.

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