Kyrgyz interim government sets referendum and parliamentary election dates

RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin, STF
On June 27 this year Kyrgyzstan will hold a referendum on changes to the constitution. Later, on October 10, parliamentary elections will also take place.

Deputy head of the provisional government of the republic for the constitutional reform, Omburbek Tekebayev, announced this on Thursday during a live address on the state TV channel. According to Interfax news agency, he said that Presidential elections could be held simultaneously with the parliamentary elections on October 10. As RIA Novosti news agency reports, the project of a new constitution will be presented to the public on April 25.

The last presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan were held only last summer, when the ousted President Bakiyev secured a victory. However, those election results were challenged by many international observers. The current interim government also claims that they were fraudulent.

However, after the April 7 unrest in the country, the opposition came to power and an interim government was formed. Following those events, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the capital, Bishkek, and later the country. The interim government dissolved the parliament and the country’s Constitutional Court, promising to hold a constitutional reform within three months and presidential and parliamentary elections within half a year.

Proposed changes to the constitution

As RIA Novosti news agency reports, earlier Tekebayev suggested holding a no-alternative election for the interim president, who would exercise all presidential powers until a new president is elected.
Also in a new project for the constitution, Tekebayev proposed significant changes to presidential powers, the parliament and government. He proposes limiting presidential powers and having a multi-party system in the parliament.

As for the parliamentary elections, he suggests that no party should have more than 50 per cent of the seats in parliament and the parliamentary majority would propose to the President the candidatures for the post of Prime Minister and members of government. According to the current constitution, the country’s President appoints ministers, who were suggested to him by the Prime Minister.

According to the project of the new constitution, the impeachment procedure of the President has been significantly simplified and the President will also have to consult the Prime Minister before dismissing the heads of local administrations and governors.

As RIA Novosti news agency reports, the parliamentary minority will also play a bigger role. Thus, the deputies of the parliamentary speaker will be appointed from all fractions of the parliament, and the representatives from minority fractions will take key posts of the heads of budget and state defense and security committees.

Moscow does not recognize Bakiyev’s presidential powers

Following the ousted Kyrgyz president’s earlier statement that he is still the country’s president and has not stepped down from his post, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow acts on the assumption that Bakiyev has formally resigned.

"I know – and this was officially announced – that Kurmanbek Bakiyev faxed a letter of resignation to Bishkek. His verbal statements can hardly overrule this document," said Lavrov.

On Wednesday, the ousted President Bakiyev urged world leaders not to recognize the interim government, stating that he is still the only lawful president of the country. However, earlier there were reports that he sent a letter of resignation, which Bakiyev now denies.

As RIA Novosti news agency reports, citing a national press center official, the ousted President is to give a news conference on April 23 in Minsk, where he is being hosted by the Belarusian President.

Olga Masalkova, RT