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Ruling Party Passes Provision Promoting Kyrgyz Language

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's dominant, pro-presidential Ak-Jol (Bright Path) party has approved a provision that would require its diplomats to understand the Kyrgyz language, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The draft legislation would also order all of Kyrgyzstan's diplomatic institutions to manage and maintain their records in the Kyrgyz language.

The provision would come into force if it is approved by the Kyrgyz parliament -- where the Ak-Jol party has an overwhelming majority -- and signed by President Kurmabek Bakiev.

Most Kyrgyz embassies and consulates manage their records in Russian, which has an official status in Kyrgyzstan along with the Kyrgyz language.

Most people in Kyrgyzstan speak and understand Russian, which competes with Kyrgyz as the most-spoken language in the country even though only some 9 percent of Kyrgyzstan's population is ethnic Russian.