Would Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Referendum Tighten Atambayev’s Grip on Power?

Kyrgyzstan's president, Almazbek Atambayev, at a Commonwealth of Independent States summit, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sept. 16, 2016 (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP).
Kyrgyzstan's president, Almazbek Atambayev, at a Commonwealth of Independent States summit, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sept. 16, 2016 (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP).
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Kyrgyzstan will hold a referendum on Dec. 11 on proposed reforms to its constitution that would give more power to the prime minister. Opponents of the reforms fear they are a way for President Almazbek Atambayev to maintain his grip on power and crack down on human rights. In an email interview, Medet Tiulegenov, an assistant professor at the American University of Central Asia, discusses Kyrgyzstan’s constitutional referendum. WPR: What changes would the Dec. 11 referendum make to Kyrgyzstan’s constitution, and what are President Almazbek Atambayev’s political objectives in seeking them? Medet Tiulegenov: The proposed changes largely concern issues of […]

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