Kyrgyzstan’s President wins approval for reform
Preliminary results released on Monday of a controversial referendum in Kyrygzstan show that President Askar Akayev has won sweeping approval for constitutional reform and support for his continued stay in office, in spite of calls for his resignation following deadly riots last year.
Akayev has defended the constitutional changes and the timing of the referendum.
The Kyrgyz Central Election Committee said 77% of voters approved the president remaining until the end of his term in the year 2005, along with constitutional change. The Election Committee said the turnout was just over 86%.
According to observers, cited by the BBC, voting was orderly, however there were minor violations, including some people voting twice and the duplication of names on registration lists.
The proposals for reform emerged last year after months of civil unrest, but many fear the changes will aggravate rather than defuse tensions in the country. (Albawaba.com)