Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Kyrgyz Constitutional Reform

According to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, his nation will hold a referendum next year to ask people if they want a different system of government. According to Bakiyev people will be presented with the choice of a Presidential, Parliamentary or Hybrid system. Changes will be implemented by 2010.

A wise move for Bakiyev.

There had been fear that he could put forward a system offering himself even greater power, with only the choice of acceptance or rejection by the people. By offering a real choice, the electorate can make a decision for themselves, one that will hopefully take some of the Head of State's power away. My personal preference would be for a semi-presidential system, such as the one in existance in France, offering a strong leader, but parliamentary accountability for government.

If the people do move towards Parliamentary government, it may be a get-out-of-jail-free card for Bakiyev. His administration has been largely ineffective in dealing with corruption, and the rule of law has fallen behind Akayev-era standards. Bakiyev is becoming unpopular, so this reform might just save his skin.


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