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Kyrgyzstan To Hold Constitutional Referendum In 2006

Kyrgyz President Bakiev voting in presidential elections in July 2005 (RFE/RL) Prague, 5 January 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan will hold a referendum on changes to the country's constitution in the last quarter of 2006, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The decision, made by President Kurmanbek Bakiev on 5 January, makes good on a promise by Bakiev during the presidential election campaign in 2005.

A constitutional commission has been working on preparing the amendments but it remains unclear what form of government will be put to the referendum.

Currently, Kyrgyzstan's government is strongly pro-presidential after a series of referenda in the 1990s and in 2002 concentrated most power in the hands of the executive branch of government.

But many lawmakers and opposition figures favor a parliamentary system of government.

Bakiev came to power after widespread protests chased long-time President Askar Akaev from power in March 2005, largely due to complaints that the people had no voice in governance.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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