Kyrgyz president agrees changes
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has
signed a new constitution that limits his powers and give more
authority to legislators.
The document, approved by parliament on
Wednesday, is an effort to end mounting protests in the capital
The opposition had accused Mr Bakiyev
of delaying tactics and failing to keep promises made when he
came to power in last year's so-called Tulip revolution.
They said he should quit if he failed
to agree to the new constitution.
Mr Bakiyev signed the new document at
a ceremony watched by journalists.
"The new constitution of the Kyrgyz
republic... is the result of the agreement between the different
political forces and one more step toward democracy in our country,"
Under the changes, which come into immediate
effect, parliament not the president will form the government.
The president will have limited powers
to dissolve the legislature.
"This is our victory, this is a step
toward peace," opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva told demonstrators
after parliament passed the constitution.
"We can avoid civil war, civil confrontation."
The document was approved by a majority
of MPs in parliament late on Wednesday night.
Afterwards, demonstrators celebrated by
waving flags and sparklers, having spent a week camped out in
the centre of Bishkek to call for change.