BISHKEK. About 64 percent of the residents of Bishkek and Osh, the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan, said that they were not aware of all the draft changes and amendments proposed by the authorities for the Sunday referendum. 'M-Vector' sociological agency has carried out a poll in the two cities recently. About 66 percent of respondents supported efforts for constitutional reforms and 66 percent of them said that they will participate in the plebiscite. About 400 residents of Bishkek and 200 residents of Osh were asked during the survey in the streets of these cities. Osh, a big city in the Southern Kyrgyzstan, was made a second capital city in October 2000, during its 3000 anniversary celebrations.
Meanwhile, the public headquarters for the referendum said that the opposition forces of Kyrgyzstan will appoint 3 to 5 observers at every constituency to monitor the referendum procedures. Main attention will be paid to the big cities of the country. The headquarters appealed to the NGOs of the country to contribute in observing the referendum to assure a fair vote.
Kyrgyz authorities accused the opposition of distributing leaflets with an appeal to boycott the referendum. Responding to the accusation, chief of the Public Headquarters for Referendum, Omurbek Tekebaev said that the public headquarters did not distribute anything like that. 'We would sign the leaflet, if we did. Any way, the citizens have a right to distribute any information', Tekebaev said.
Steven Wagenseil, the acting director of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) told RFE/RL yesterday that two election experts have been deployed to the OSCE office in Bishkek to observe the process and will prepare a report sometime next week.