Kyrgyz referendum approves constitutional changes

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BISHKEK, Oct 22 (Reuters) Kyrgyz voters backed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's constitutional amendments in a referendum paving the way for a possible snap parliamentary election, the Central Election Commission said today.

About 75 per cent of voters cast their ballots in favour of the changes which broaden responsibilities of parliament while boosting Bakiyev's hold on power. About four per cent voted against.

The commission said almost 76 per cent of people approved separate legislative amendments raising the number of deputies and changing the election process from a single-constituency system to a proportional all-party list. Bakiyev is widely expected to dissolve parliament and call early elections after the referendum.

Reuters SS RN0906

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