Kyrgyzstan vows to hold referendum
Kyrgyzstan's interim government says it will hold a constitutional referendum, despite the ongoing ethnic clashes in the south that has displaced thousands of people, Press TV reported.
The new Kyrgyz leadership has announced that it will hold the referendum, scheduled for June 27, to gain legal status and move ahead with new reforms.
Referring to the referendum as a requirement to hold legitimacy, Azimbek Beknazarov, the deputy chief of the provisional government, stressed that "We need this like air. Everyone who calls themselves a Kyrgyz citizen must vote in the referendum."
The provisional government hopes to reunite the country and put an end to the worst bloodshed Kyrgyzstan has witnessed in 20 years.
Violence broke out last week between the majority Kyrgyz population and minority ethnic Uzbeks in the wake of a bloody uprising in April that deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Recent clashes have claimed close to 200 lives so far. The UN has declared that almost 400,000 people have been displaced by ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan.