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Kyrgyz President Addresses Parliament On Constitutional Reforms

President Bakiev addressing parliament today (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, October 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev addressed the Kyrgyz parliament today about his plans for constitutional reforms, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Bakiev said he intends to send his version of the draft constitution to parliament by November 20, and urged lawmakers to consider it as soon as possible.

Bakiev also explained the delays in the constitutional reforms.

"We waited until this day only because we did not want to have a constitution that was written by four or five lawyers who work at the presidential administration, and then to adopt it at a referendum by using the power of the heads of local administrations and the governors," Bakiev said. "This is the only reason [for the delays]."

Bakiev, who has said he favors a constitution that features a strong executive, said he was ready to meet with opposition leaders on October 31 to discuss the reforms.

The For Reforms Movement, Kyrgyzstan's leading opposition bloc, said today a rally scheduled for November 2 will take place as planned. Opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev told RFE/RL that Bakiev has missed six self-imposed deadlines for submitting a draft constitution before and the opposition has no confidence that the new deadline will be met.

Central Asia In Focus

Central Asia In Focus

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