Kyrgyzstan’s Central Election Commission [official site, in Russian] on Sunday announced [press release, in Kyrgyz] that a referendum to give the government more power has passed. The referendum gives more control [Daily report] to the prime minister by bestowing the ability to dismiss cabinet members without the advice or consent of the president. President Almazbek Atambayev sponsored the referendum and many believe it is because he wants to assume [Reuters report] the position at the end of his presidency, which by law only lasts one term. The referendum also bans [RFE/RL report] same-sex marriage in the region.
The Kyrgyzstan Supreme Council in September voted [JURIST report] in favor of holding a constitutional referendum that would give more power to the country’s prime minister. Last January a spokesperson for the Kyrgyzstan government discussed [JURIST report] with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty proposed legislation that would allow the Kyrgyz government to shut down media outlets without requiring a court decision.