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Kyrgyzstan to cancel constitution referendum if country remains in state of emergency

RIA Novosti

17:20 17/06/2010

MOSCOW, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Kyrgyz interim government introduced amendments under which the country's constitution referendum could be canceled if the Central Asian republic remains in a state of emergency, a document published on Thursday on the interim government's website said.

The referendum on the adoption of a new Kyrgyz constitution is slated for June 27.

Violent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups in southern Kyrgyzstan broke out in the city of Osh on June 11 and then spread to the neighboring Jalalabad region. The interim government introduced a state of emergency in a number of areas in the region.

According to the amendments "a referendum will not be held under a military or emergency situation imposed on the entire Kyrgyz territory."

If an emergency state is imposed in several regions, the referendum will be held only if the number of citizens participating in the poll reaches at least 50% of the total number of Kyrgyz registered voters, the decree said.

Kyrgyzstan's interim government led by Roza Otunbayeva took power on April 7 amid violent protests. Ex-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the country and later resigned.

Presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan are to be held in October, 2011, and the new Kyrgyz leader will come into power the following January. Until then, Otunbayeva will have presidential powers.

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