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Kyrgyzstan provisional government pledges constitutional reform

[JURIST] Kyrgyzstan's provisional government on Monday announced a plan to institute democratic reforms, including a referendum on a new constitution. The plan seeks to move Kyrgyzstan toward a parliamentary republic [Reuters report] with increased checks and balances and a reduction in the constitutional scope of presidential power. In order to increase the perceived legitimacy of the process, the government has stated it will invite UN officials to join Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Committee. The pledge for reform follows an anti-government uprising [JURIST report] earlier this month that forced president Kurmanbek Bakiyev [BBC profile] from office and led to the formation of an interim government [JURIST report] headed by former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva [Telegraph profile]. The interim government has taken a number of steps, including suspending the constitutional court [JURIST report] because of the court's perceived support for Bakiyev. It was also reported on Monday that Bakivey had fled Kazakhstan [AP report], where he had been hiding since his ouster.

On Sunday, the interim Kyrgyz government announced that Bakiyev will be tried [JURIST report] for killings that took place during the uprising. Last week, the Kyrgyzstan Prosecutor General's Office announced that Bakiyev's son faces charges [JURIST report] of abuse of power and misuse of state credit. UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) [official website] Executive Director Jan Kubis [official profile] stated [press release] Friday that Kyrgyzstan needs international support in order to continue democratic reforms. UN officials have also pointed to concerns over human rights in Kyrgyzstan. Earlier this month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] called on Kyrgyzstan [JURIST report] to show "tolerance for diversity and media freedom." Kyrgyzstan's recent problems mirror many of those addressed in 2005 when Bakiyev assumed power in the Tulip Revolution.

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