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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Debate New Structure Of Parliament

(RFE/RL) December 5, 2006 -- Kyrgyz lawmakers have begun exploring ways to revamp the internal structure of the legislature to reflect duties spelled out in the country's new constitution.

Reports say an opposition-sponsored scheme to increase the number of parliamentary committees won the most votes in the first round of a secret ballot, but the proposal still failed.

Kyrgyz lawmakers and President Kurmanbek Bakiev approved a new constitution in early November that gives the legislature and the government greater powers and reduces those of the president.

Passage of the new constitution came amid public protests aimed at securing sweeping systemic changes, in line with Bakiev's campaign pledges, or his resignation.

Outsiders have generally welcomed the nonviolent resolution of the Kyrgyz crisis, and some analysts have expressed cautious hope that the devolution of some powers from the executive there might set a tone that leads to more representative government in the region.

(Kabar, AKIpress,