- Title: Kyrgyzstan votes in constitutional referendum
- Date: 11th December 2016
- Summary: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN (DECEMBER 11, 2016) (REUTERS) PEOPLE LISTENING TO NATIONAL ANTHEM AT POLLING STATION OPENING KYRGYZ FLAG PEOPLE REGISTERING TO VOTE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PUTTING BALLOTS IN ELECTRONIC BALLOT BOX
- Embargoed: 26th December 2016 12:59
- Keywords: Kyrgyzstan referendum voting constitution Atambayev
- Location: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
- City: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
- Country: Kyrgyzstan
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CFUSSN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The people of Kyrgyzstan voted on Sunday (December 11) on amendments to the constitution after a parliament decision to hold a referendum.
The vote on constitutional change would strengthen the powers of the prime minister, a move opponents say is aimed at getting President Almazbek Atambayev into the post when his term ends.
The Central Asian nation's constitution bars Atambayev from running for a second term when his mandate ends in 2017.
The former Soviet republic's parliament passed a bill setting the referendum which will need to be passed in two more readings to become law.
Atambayev's Social Democratic party leads the ruling coalition in parliament. The country's leader said he plans to concentrate on the party work in future.
"I will take part in the work of the Social Democratic party, I want to prepare it - the list and the party - to the parliamentary election in 2020," he told media after casting his ballot.
The proposed constitutional amendments include provisions granting more powers to the cabinet and to leaders of parliamentary factions.
Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished, mostly Muslim nation of 6 million, has been volatile in recent years. Violent protests in 2005 and 2010 toppled successive presidents.
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