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Kyrgyz Government Resigns

The end of Kulov's (left) partnership with Bakiev? (file photo) (RFE/RL) December 19, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The Kyrgyz government resigned today in a move that Prime Minister Feliks Kulov said was done to help smooth the adoption of a new constitution and because of worsening relations between the executive and legislative branches.

Kulov said he had earlier discussed the decision to resign with President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who accepted the government's resignation.

"I've made my position clear to the president before," Kulov said. "Therefore I don't think it will be a big surprise to him. True, we didn't discuss when that would happen, but I've told him what I thought."

Kulov said the government's decision to resign was made to accelerate the holding of parliamentary elections. Kyrgyzstan held parliamentary elections in 2005, but the new constitution adopted last month includes changes to the structure of the parliament, raising the number of seats from 75 to 90 and the method for electing deputies -- which will be done by party lists instead of the single-mandate system.

Kulov said that despite contradictions between the current parliament structure and the one mandated in the new constitution, it should be possible for legislators to continue their work.

"The most important thing now is that in order to push through reforms there is a need to elect a new parliament," he said. "According to the constitution, our deputies maintain their powers until the election of a new parliament. Therefore, I do not see any principle problem about whether to dissolve parliament now or to continue working until new elections."

Parliamentary Reform Needed

Kulov noted in his announcement to reporters that Bakiev should form a new government based on a party majority. However, no party has a majority in parliament, which further necessitates the holding of new parliamentary elections.

Deputy Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov elaborated on the problems the country faces due to a new constitution that does not take into consideration the current make-up of parliament.

"According to the current constitution, parliament cannot form a new government -- cannot elect a new prime minister -- because there is no ruling party," he said.

Usenov explained that parliament practically cannot make any decisions with its current structure. "Today, [parliament deputies] are approving decisions [with only] 38 votes," he said. "This is a violation of the constitution because, according to the constitution currently in effect, there are 90 deputies -- [so] a quorum is 46 [and] to accept a decision there needs to be 46 [votes]."

Kulov stopped short of calling for the dissolution of parliament, but Usenov said that is exactly what the deputies need to do. "It would be logical if they decided among themselves to dissolve [parliament]," he said.

Possibly in preparation for early parliamentary elections, President Bakiev today also dismissed Tuygunaly Abdraimov, the head of the Central Election Commission.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service contributed to this report.)

Understanding Kyrgyzstan

Understanding Kyrgyzstan

Workers preparing for celebrations of the constitutional compromise in Bishkek on November 9 (RFE/RL)

A STABLE FOUNDATION? On November 9, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a briefing featuring RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service Director Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and RFE/RL analyst Daniel Kimmage.


Listen to the complete discussion (about 80 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


Parliament Adopts Constitution Curtailing Presidential Powers

Crisis Deepens After President Proposes Constitutional Changes

Bishkek Prepares For Large Opposition Rally

Economic Reforms Seem Stalled

Photo Gallery Of November 9 Protests

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