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Kyrgyz Parliament Approves Law For Referendum On Constitutional Changes, Sets April 11 Date


The bill was approved by 94 lawmakers, while six voted against it. (file photo)

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz lawmakers have approved the final reading of a law to hold a referendum on constitutional amendments on April 11 that would increase the president's powers.

The bill was approved by 94 lawmakers, while six voted against it in the session on March 11.

The proposed amendments would significantly increase presidential powers and allow the president to be reelected for a second term. Current law allows presidents only one term in office.

The amendments also envision the creation of a so-called People's Kurultai (Assembly), described as "a consultative and coordinating organ" controlled by the president.

A Constitutional Court will also be created while the number of lawmakers will be cut to 90 from 120.

The constitutional changes were proposed by President Sadyr Japarov in November, when he was acting president following anti-government protests in October that toppled the government and led to then-President Sooronbai Jeenbekov's resignation in mid-October.

Japarov was elected as president on January 10.

Many in the Central Asian nation have criticized Japarov, saying that he is looking to impose a more authoritarian system of rule by changing the constitution.

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