BISHKEK. A special team of specialists established by presidential decree to examine a draft copy of the amendments and changes to the Kyrgyz Constitution, will have a meeting in Bishkek tomorrow. The team will wrap-up all the proposals made during the nation-wide debate on the amendments and changes. According to a presidential decree of January 2, 2003, the team has to finish its work on January 13, 2003. Then the text of the draft would go to President Askar Akayev. Nina Bekua, the President of the National Problems Foundation and a member of the team, said today that the 17 members of the group had discussed its organizational procedures on January 3, 2003.
It is unclear for now whether President Askar Akayev will present to the Constitutional Council or Parliament the draft amendments to the Constitution before proposing them to a referendum. The date of a referendum has not been set yet, but the first deputy prime minister said on Friday that it is expected to be held at the end of this month or at the beginning of February.
The processes of the constitutional reforms started last September when the Constitutional Council gathered for the first time to discuss the issue. Now opposition members of the Council are criticizing the Government for its plans to go to a referendum without having the Constitutional Council discuss the latest version of the draft.