BISHKEK. Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev today signed a decree on holding a referendum on a new version of the Kyrgyz Constitution and on giving consent to the President to continue his current term until Dec 1, 2005. He did not mention on the fate of the current parliament. The referendum will be held on February 2, 2003.
Today earlier President told a government meeting that a special team of experts have finished their editing work on proposed amendments and added some more proposals that were suggested during a nation-wide debate. He said:
"I believe that today we are getting a Constitution that meets the requirements of a post-transitional period and harmonizes the relations between different branches of the power, between the power and the people, and within the civil society. I believe that the adoption of the new Constitution will strengthen our leadership in the transformation to democracy."
The latest text of the proposals was discussed later today by the country's Constitutional Council. The Council had representatives from the government and opposition parties and movements.
Among the proposed changes to the constitution are changing the current bicameral to a unicameral parliament and transferring of some presidential duties to either parliament or government. Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev will chair the organizing committee on conducting referendum on the new version of the Constitution.
First post-Soviet Constitution was adopted on May 5, 1993, and then there were several changes into it during 1990s referendums.