BISHKEK. Residents of the Aksy district in the Jalalabad region gathered today in the village of Karajygach appealing to the Kyrgyz electorate to boycott the forthcoming referendum scheduled for Sunday. Representatives of several opposition parties, including 'Erkindik' (Freedom), 'Erkin Kyrgyzstan' (Free Kyrgyzstan), 'Asaba' (Flag), 'Atameken' (Motherland) and others, participated in the meetings. A coordinator of the 'Asaba' Party in the Jalalabad region, Kubanych Mamatkerimov, told RFE/RL that about 17,000 people attended the gathering. However, the head of the Aksy district Council, Ergeshaaly Ozukeev said that only 200 people gathered in the village.
Meanwhile, chief of the Public Headquarters for Referendum, lawmaker Omurbek Tekebaev, told journalists today in Bishkek that referendum preparations have several shortcomings. For instance, said Tekebaev, the Central Electoral Commission has to do organizational work for the referendum, in accordance with the Election Code, but for now the local authorities are carrying out that activity. As Tekebaev put it, the main goal of the constitutional reforms as a means of political consensus and maintenance of stability has not been reached.