BISHKEK. Several opposition-minded members of the Constitutional Council and deputies today appealed to Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, proposing he gather the Constitutional Council before putting the text of the draft amendments and changes to the Constitution to a referendum. MPs Apsamat Masaliev and Omurbek Tekebaev, the two deputy chairman out of three, are among the signatories of today's statement.
The opposition representatives said that before announcing a referendum on the constitutional reforms, both chambers of the Kyrgyz parliament should adopt a constitutional law on the referendum. The statement's authors proposed President Akayev postpone the referendum until adoption of the special law on holding a referendum, which requires support from at least two-thirds of the deputies of both chambers of the parliament. Clause 5 of the Kyrgyz Constitution says: 'Amendments and supplements to the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Laws of the Kyrgyz Republic, and other important matters of state life may be referred for a referendum (nationwide vote). The grounds and procedure for holding a referendum shall be established by a constitutional law.' However, the parliament did not adopt any law on referendum yet.
First deputy prime minister, and a deputy chairman of the Constitutional Council, Kurmanbek Osmonov had said the President would go to the Referendum with Constitutional reforms agenda without discussion of the draft amendment text by the Constitutional Council. Yesterday, after public criticism, he told the round table discussion at the Bishkek Bureau of IWPR, that the draft will be given to the Constitutional Council. Some opposition members regard it as their little victory. However, some opposition members still have a reservation on the referendum practice in Kyrgyzstan.