( RIA Novosti ) - Kyrgyzstan voted on Sunday in a referendum on a new Constitution intended to strengthen President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's power and end a long-lasting political crisis in the Central Asian republic.
Kyrgyzstan's Constitutional Court earlier annulled the Constitution, ruling that its adoption by parliament in 2006 was unlawful. The new draft stipulates that the country's parliament will be elected by party ballots, and that local governments will serve as "the president's representatives at the regional level."
Kyrgyzstan's main law was adopted by a national referendum in 2003 and amended twice in 2006.
In November, when opposition forces demanded immediate constitutional reforms be carried out and there were mass protests in Bishkek, the Constitution was altered to grant parliament broader powers.
However, a month later, in December, as a result of pressure by pro-presidential forces, it was again revised in favor of the president.