International observers to monitor referendum in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Materials 4 October 2007 16:00 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - International observers, including Russian officials, will monitor a Kyrgyz referendum on amending the Constitution, a spokesman for the country's Central Election Commission said on Thursday.

"The presence of international observers at the referendum will enhance its prestige and make it more transparent," the source said, adding that Russian and Georgian election commission officials had already filed applications for accreditation.

International observers from the CIS Executive Committee, Russian parliamentarians and officials from public organizations also plan to monitor the Kyrgyz referendum.

Earlier reports said local observers from political parties and public organizations would also participate.

Kyrgyzstan's Constitutional Court annulled the country's Constitution in mid-September after ruling that its adoption by parliament in 2006 was unlawful.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed a decree on September 19 to call a referendum on amending the Constitution on October 21.

The draft to be voted on in October stipulates that the country's parliament will be elected by party ballot, and that district and regional governments will serve as "the president's representatives at local level."

Kyrgyzstan's main law was adopted by a national referendum in 2003 and amended twice in 2006.

The Kyrgyz Central Election Commission has already designated 2,200 polling centers for the referendum.