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Kyrgyz Government Resigns Following Referendum


Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev says the government has resigned, as required by a new constitution adopted in this week's referendum.

Mr. Bakiyev announced Wednesday that the outgoing government will continue as an acting administration until a new cabinet is formed, after parliamentary elections set for December 16.

The new constitution was adopted in a referendum Sunday, when voters approved sweeping changes that include electing parliament members using a party list, rather than the current system of individual candidates.

Opponents of President Bakiyev say the changes allow him and his party to seize control of parliament. Mr. Bakiyev says the changes give more power to the people.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said the voting failed to meet international standards for referendums. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said it found numerous violations, including ballot-stuffing.

The Central Asian nation has experienced frequent political turmoil since 2005, when a popular revolt toppled President Askar Akayev.

Opposition groups say President Bakiyev has failed to deliver on democratic reforms he promised after replacing Mr. Akayev, Kyrgyzstan's leader since Soviet times.

The former Soviet republic hosts both U.S. and Russian military bases.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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