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Kyrgyzstan constitutional compromise reached

[JURIST] Kyrgyzstan opposition party members and pro-government supporters announced Tuesday that they had reached a compromise in an effort to reform the country's constitution [constitutional materials, in Kyrgyz]. Members of the country's parliament [People's Assembly website] are expected to vote Wednesday on a new draft charter, which places limits on the powers of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev [BBC profile]. The draft also creates a presidential-parliamentary government, enlarges the parliament from 75 to 90 deputies and gives the parliament the right to form the government. In response to the announced consensus, thousands of anti-government protestors who have been agitating for change ever since Bakiyev rejected an initial draft last week agreed to suspend [Itar-Tass report] their demonstrations even after casualties were reported when Kyrgyz police fired tear gas into a crowd.

Bakiyev came to power [JURIST report] during the so-called Tulip Revolution [Wikipedia backgrounder] of 2005 in Kyrgyzstan [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] during which former president Askar Akayev resigned [JURIST report] amid charges of corruption and abuse of office. It is unclear whether Bakiyev will accept the new constitution, which also needs approval of two thirds of parliament. Reuters has more. MosNews has additional coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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