- Title: Kyrgyzstan amends constitution in referendum, boosting government powers
- Date: 12th December 2016
- Summary: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN (DECEMBER 12, 2016) (REUTERS) CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION NEWS CONFERENCE CAMERA NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS BANNER (Russian): "December 11, 2016 Referendum on draft law on making changes in constitution of Kyrgyzstan" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KYRGYZSTAN CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION HEAD, NURZHAN SHAILDABEKOVA, SAYING: "From all those who took part in referendum 79.6 percent voted for adoption of draft law on making changes in constitution of Kyrgyzstan and 15.4 percent voted against it." CITY SQUARE KYRGYZ FLAG ON TOP OF BUILDING PEOPLE WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Kyrgyz) BISHKEK RESIDENT, DAMIRA OMURZAKOVA, SAYING: "They (politicians) are elected and elected again. I don't believe there will be any change. There was enough time to make changes. They only talk, but in reality they do nothing. To make changes they should start with themselves first." CARS DRIVING AT CROSSROAD STREET CLEANER SWEEPING PEOPLE WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Kyrgyz) BISHKEK RESIDENT, SHURUBEK ERKINBAEV, SAYING: "I went and voted in support of it because this is our future. Now it is important that they (government members) will be working on the ground of this law and that our government serves its people through this law, and people will live well. I think that if new changes are adopted it would mean that everything will become better and will change step by step." VARIOUS OF YOUNG MEN WALKING CARS DRIVING COUPLE WALKING
- Embargoed: 27th December 2016 12:45
- Keywords: Kyrgyzstan referendum government vote result
- Location: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
- City: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
- Country: Kyrgyzstan
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CKVIO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Kyrgyzstan has voted in favour of constitutional changes boosting the power of its government, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said on Monday (December 12), citing preliminary results of a national referendum.
The commission said that with most ballots counted in the Central Asian nation of six million, about 80 percent of voters had supported the package of constitutional amendments proposed by allies of President Almazbek Atambayev.
Voter turnout was about 42 percent.
"From all those who took part in referendum 79.6 percent voted for adoption of draft law on making changes in constitution of Kyrgyzstan and 15.4 percent voted against it," said CEC head, Nurzhan Shaildabekova.
The amendments include provisions granting more powers to the prime minister and the government, which is dominated by members of Atambayev's Social Democratic party.
Some of Atambayev's critics have accused him of planning to become prime minister himself after stepping down as president when his term ends next year. Atambayev, 60, has denied having such plans.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe said in a joint comment in August that the proposed amendments would shift the balance of power by strengthening the executive at the expense of parliament and the judiciary.
In the same comment, the two institutions said that other amendments could weaken the former Soviet republic's commitment to international treaties on human rights and freedoms.
Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished and mostly Muslim nation, has been volatile in recent years and was the scene of violent protests in 2005 and 2010 which toppled successive presidents.
Atambayev's move to amend the constitution adopted after the 2010 protests has alienated some of his former allies. If the conflict between him and opposition deepens after the vote, it could destabilise the country, which hosts a Russian military base.
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