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Kyrgyz High Court Rejects Constitutional Amendments

Constitutional Court Chairwoman Cholpon Baekova reading the decision in Bishkek today (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, September 14, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Constitutional Court today rejected a series of constitutional amendments that had adopted in late 2006.

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports that the ruling represents the final decision in the matter, leaving in force the February 2003 version of the constitution.

Amendments adopted in November 2006 limited presidential powers following a massive protest in Bishkek. The following month, pro-presidential lawmakers ratified further amendments that restored many of those powers to the presidency.

Speaking before he'd seen the decision himself, Justice Minister Marat Kaiypov said: "The president is in power to define the domestic and foreign policy strategy of the Kyrgyz state. So, as I suppose, the head of state will give his view on the issue anyway."

Opposition lawmaker Melis Eshimkanov, one of the authors of the appeal to the Constitutional Court, said he was pleasantly surprised by the decision. "We don't have to be afraid that there would be a chaos or political disorder" because of the decision, he added. "It would be better if we -- the power branches, led by the president, as well as the opposition -- define the best, democratic, and fair constitution, and we need to adopt the amended and renewed constitution by referendum."

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


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