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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Amend New Constitution

Speaker Sultanov is seeking political stability (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, December 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's parliament today voted to amend the new constitution, which strengthens presidential powers.

The president will have the right to appoint regional governors and leaders of local governing structures. Law enforcement structures will also be under his control. Previously, there had been debate over whether it was the prime minister's prerogative to appoint officials.

Contentious Document

Prime Minister Feliks Kulov and his government resigned last week and parliament and the president have been fighting over the constitution adopted last month.

Parliament speaker Marat Sultanov said the decision to adopt a compromise version of the constitution was aimed at stabilizing the political situation in the country.

Ahead of the vote, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev urged lawmakers to adopt new laws or adjust existing one in accordance with the new version of the Kyrgyz Constitution.

"It is necessary to urgently adopt laws on political issues, new laws on the government, election code, new laws on political parties," Bakiev said. "That is why I would like to ask you once again to consider these matters in the coming days."

Security Council Decision Delayed

Bakiev also called an emergency meeting of the country's Security Council today, but no major decisions were made and the meeting was postponed until January.

He said that the Security Council's meeting will make a decision on the fate of the parliament.

(ITAR-TASS, AFP, Reuters, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)