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Kyrgyz president extends power with overhaul of state structures

RIA Novosti

13:23 20/10/2009 BISHKEK, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on Tuesday announced details of a wide-reaching reorganization of the state apparatus, giving more power to the presidency.

"The first step will be the reformation of the institution of the presidency. The presidential administration will be abolished, and in its place a presidential institution will be established as the sole body for decision-making," Bakiyev told a meeting of the heads of government bodies.

The new presidential structure will include state bodies directly subordinate to the head of state. It will comprise the presidential office, which will be cut by 50% as compared with the previous presidential administration, its secretariat to deal with information and analytical and expert support, and also the central agency for development, investment and innovations.

In addition, the head of state will have a state adviser on defense, security and law and order in charge of law-enforcement agencies and a state foreign minister directly subordinate to him.

"The enhancement of the status of the foreign minister and his withdrawal from the government is necessary for the Foreign Ministry to coordinate all foreign policy departments. His mission is to provide support to the head of state in foreign policy control," Bakiyev said.

"All strategic decisions on matters of domestic and foreign policy will be made taking into account the opinion of the Presidential Council," he said.

He added that the new body will include the heads of departments of the presidential institution, the adviser on defense and the foreign minister, and also the parliament speaker and the prime minister.

Independent experts will be invited to take part in meetings of the Presidential Council and in some cases it will perform the functions of the Security Council, he said.

"That is why, the Security Council as a separate constitutional body will be abolished and its functions will be partly placed on the state adviser on defense and the adviser's office," he said.

The government's structure will also be changed, Bakiyev said.

"The existing system of bureaucratic state apparatus is cumbersome and incapable of timely responding to crises and swift changes in the situation," he said.

Bakiyev said that Kyrgyzstan had never before seen such a large-scale reduction in the state apparatus, adding that the first stage of the reform would save more than 500 million soms (about $11.5 million) in budget funds.

Bakiyev said he also intended to reform considerably the State Committee for National Security.

"Threats to national security are increasing. It is obvious that we cannot always respond adequately and timely to challenges. The situation can and must be remedied by reforming the state security system," he said, adding that the country needed a compact and effective security service.

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