Kyrgyzstan’s interim government unveils reform plan

By Dmitry Madorsky

BISHKEK (BestGrowthStock) – Kyrgyzstan’s new government, keen to stamp its authority following this month’s violent uprising, unveiled a reform plan on Monday that it says will help restore democracy in the volatile Central Asian nation.

A revolt on April 7 forced president Kurmanbek Bakiyev to resign and flee Kyrgyzstan, leaving the ex-Soviet republic in the hands of his opponents who now form the backbone of an interim administration.

Bakiyev himself came to power in a 2005 revolt on the back of promises to build democracy and protect human rights.

Omurbek Tekebayev, an interim premier, said the government had prepared a one-year road map of liberal changes to the constitution and free parliamentary and presidential elections around late September or early October.

“The provisional government has worked out a democratic development plan tentatively dubbed ‘The return to democracy’,” he told a group of non-government activists and reporters.

Tekebayev, in charge of constitutional reform, said Kyrgyzstan will invite U.N. officials to join the Central Election Commission in order to maximize transparency.

The United States, concerned for the fate of a key U.S. military base in Kyrgyzstan supplying operations in Afghanistan, has tentatively endorsed the new government and pledged to help it in its reform path but has yet to recognize it formally.

Russia, which has also yet to recognize it formally, moved swiftly to offer financial assistance to the interim government and praised its handling of the crisis.

As for constitutional reform, Tekebayev said he would cut presidential powers substantially to create a parliamentary republic with strong checks and balances, adding that details were still being debated in the interim government.

He said that constitutional changes would be put to a referendum later this year. He added that the interim government would work closely with human rights and non-government organizations during the reform period.

No one in the provisional government has voiced ambitions to run for the presidency. Roza Otunbayeva, the interim chief and former foreign minister, will remain in her seat until the snap presidential election.

(Writing by Maria Golovnina; Editing by Charles Dick)

Kyrgyzstan’s interim government unveils reform plan