Leaders and representatives of 11 political parties and 7 non-
governmental organizations, including the Coalition for Democracy and Civil
Society today made a joint statement criticizing the draft text of the new version
of the Constitution. The document stresses that the main ideas agreed upon by
the Constitutional Council were omitted by the team of experts. Another
statement with criticism of the draft signed by 8 members of the Constitutional
Council, was also sent to the mass media today.
Former vice president, and a leader of the Arnamys (Dignity) Party, Feliks Kulov,
currently serving a jail term, today sent an appeal to the Constitutional court to
dismiss the presidential decree on holding referendum. Kulov said that, in
accordance with the clause 17 of the current Constitution, nobody has a right to
adopt a law which will restrict the rights of citizens. The draft of the new
Constitution version restricts rights of the citizen. For example, according to the
draft, a citizen can not apply strait to the Constitutional Council, said Kulov.
Opposition regards his arrest and jail as a politically motivated move by the
authorities to remove one of the powerful challengers to Akayev.
Another political party, El Unu (Voice of Nation) made a statement today which
says that the draft of the version of the Constitution destroys any balance
between different branches of power and eliminates possibilities for the political
parties to participate in the political life as a social institute. The party proposed to
postpone the referendum until the autumn 2003 in order to restore the
democratic principles in the Constitution.
Several youth organizations also adopted statements addressed to President,
Parliament of Kyrgyzstan and to the Bishkek office of the OSCE, criticizing the
draft. According to their statements, no main proposals of the NGOs were
included into the draft. They asked the OSCE office to support them in organizing
a round table on the referendum issues with participation of representatives of
the political parties, NGOs and the Government.