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Kyrgyz Official Comments On Constitutional Drafts

Marat Sultanov (file photo) (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, October 18, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Throwing his weight into the ongoing constitutional debate, Kyrgyz parliament speaker Marat Sultanov today said he favored a political system that would ensure a steady balance between the legislative and executive branches of power.

Addressing reporters in Bishkek, Sultanov also said Kyrgyzstan's judiciary and self-governing bodies should have greater prerogatives, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Four main constitutional drafts are currently under consideration and there is no general agreement about any of them.

Experts of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional issues, came to Bishkek recently to discuss those four drafts.

"It would not be bad if we adopted the version that was published on July 17, 2005, as a working draft," Sultanov said of their assessment.

"Of course, one cannot say that everything in this version is perfect. The [three other] versions that were drafted by the working group of [lawmaker Azimbek] Beknazarov also have their own strengths, in particular with regard to the judiciary system and human rights, and the Venice Commission acknowledged that," he added. "But with regard to the balance of powers among the legislative, the executive, and the president, [the commission] said it favored the July 17 version."

Prime Minister Feliks Kulov has also said he favors a system that guarantees a greater balance of powers. President Kurmanbek Bakiev has spoken in favor of a stronger executive.

The opposition has announced plans to stage protest rallies next month in a bid to force Bakiev to accelerate the long-awaited constitutional reform.

(with AKIpress and

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