Kyrgyzstan, a referendum for stability.

27 Jun 2010

 The referendum was organized to choose a new Constitution. The interim government hopes it will legitimise its power until new parliamentary elections in autumn. If approved, Kyrgyzstan will become the first parliamentary republic in former Soviet Asia.

 The country is home to a Russian and a US military bases. Washington established its air base at the Manas international airport near Bishkek in late 2001 to support military operations in Afghanistan. Former President Bakiyev threatened to close it in October 2008 after agreeing to a Russian loan. He reversed the decision when the US agreed to more than triple its annual rent for the base.

Weeks later Kyrgyzstan tentatively agreed to allow Russia to open a second military base on its territory, apparently expanding Moscow’s military reach to balance the US presence.

 Earlier in June several hundred people died in clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the south of the country.

 Questions and Answer, BBC, June 27th  2010

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