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Thousands Demand Kyrgyz President Resign

Protesters on November 6 (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, November 6, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- At least 10,000 protesters have gathered in front of government headquarters in Bishkek demanding that President Kurmanbek Bakiev implement long-awaited constitutional and other reforms or step down, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The demonstrators are calling upon policemen on guard near the building to join them.

An RFE/RL correspondent at the scene reported seeing some of the protesters shaking the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the official compound.

MORE: A gallery of images from today's demonstrations in Bishkek.

Coverage of the unrest in Kyrgyz from RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.

The number of protesters swelled after Bakiev earlier today submitted to parliament his own proposals to amend the constitution.

Bakiev's aides say the proposals aim at giving the legislature more powers, but the opposition accuses the head of state of "cheating."

Meanwhile, Bakiev today removed acting Interior Minister Osmanali Guronov from office.

The head of the presidential administration, Myktybek Abdyldaev, appeared before protesters picketing the government headquarters in Bishkek and read out a presidential decree putting Omurbek Subanaliev temporarily in charge of the ministry. The reasons for the reshuffle were not immediately clear.

Demands For Parliamentary System

State Secretary Adakhan Madumarov told reporters that Bakiev is proposing to give parliament more prerogatives, including those of appointing the prime minister. He said that Bakiev's initiative aims at creating a mixed presidential-parliamentary form of government.

But opposition leaders say they want a parliamentary form of government and warn that Bakiev's proposals will only make the crisis worse.

Protests have been going on since November 2 and organizers have said that they will continue until their demands are met.

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Central Asia In Focus

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