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Kyrgyzstan president signs constitutional amendments into law

[JURIST] Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev [BBC profile] Tuesday signed into law amendments [RFE/RL report] to the Kyrgyz constitution [constitutional materials, in Kyrgyz] approved by citizen vote in a constitutional referendum [JURIST reports] Sunday. Bakiyev also issued a decree Tuesday setting new parliamentary elections for December 16. The constitutional amendments include increasing the number of seats in parliament from 75 to 90 and changing the election of parliament members from a direct election to proportional party representation. Bakiyev's actions Tuesday followed his dissolution [AP report] of the existing parliament Monday.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] has criticized alleged violations [press release] committed during Kyrgyzstan's Sunday referendum, including stuffing of the ballot box and the impermissible use of state resources to transport citizens to the polls. Ambassador Markus Mueller, head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, [official website] urged Kyrgyz authorities to "take immediate action to address these reported violations and seek to prevent a recurrence of such allegations in the future." AP has more.

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