BISHKEK. Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev today met with representatives of the capital city's community. He explained to them the Government view on forthcoming referendum agenda. The referendum set by the presidential decree to be held on February 2, is to adopt a new version of the Constitution, and also it would allow Akayev to maintain his presidency until December 2005, while a fate of the current bicameral Parliament will be unclear. President praised the draft version of the Constitution saying that it was prepared in accordance with the high international standards. The new version will establish a presidential and parliament system of power, said President. He dismissed accusations by opposition that the text was not agreed by the Constitutional Council set up by him on August 26, 2002.
According to Akayev, the first post-Soviet Constitution was adopted ten years ago (May 5, 1993), then there were three times amendments and changes into it. As he put it, 'the changes were made with means of the most democratic way created by the civilized mankind, - by referendum'.
Meanwhile, independent experts and Kyrgyz opposition have reservations about methods conducted in Kyrgyzstan in organizing referendums.
Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev today held a press conference on the referendum issues. He said that Government issued a decree on carrying out the presidential decree on referendum. A special headquarters is to deal with the problems. Government allocated about 13,500,000 soms for organizational needs. About 2.6 mln ballot-papers will be published for the 2,542,000 voters. Central Electoral Committee sent messages to Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry and OSCE asking their help to invite international observers to the referendum.