Kyrgyz referendum "important step" towards democracy, EU says
Approval by referendum of a new constitution in Kyrgyzstan marked "an important step towards the re-establishment of the constitutional order and democratic process" in the strife-ridden country, the European Union said Monday, dpa reported.
In a statement, the bloc's foreign policy director Catherine Ashton welcomed "the peaceful conduct" of Sunday's voting, saying it testified "to the resilience of the citizens of Kyrgyzstan and their desire to build together a stable foundation for the sustainable development of their country."
However, Ashton also referred to the "significant shortcomings" in electoral standards identified by international observers from the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe, a regional security and democracy watchdog.
The EU's foreign policy chief urged Kyrgyz authorities to address the problems "before the forthcoming parliamentary elections."