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Kyrgyzstan: Constitutional Changes Afoot?

Kyrgyzstani President Almazbek Atambayev, seen here talking to the news media during a March 24 dedication of a park commemorating the 2005 revolution, says he will not seek the role of prime minister or any other national political office once his current presidential term ends in 2017. (Photo: Kyrgyzstan Presidential Press Service)

With Kyrgyzstan facing a presidential election in 2017, speculation is mounting about possible constitutional tinkering with the country’s mixed system of government.
 
On occasion, single-term President Almazbek Atambayev has made vague exhortations to change the constitution to weaken the power of his office. Such action would go against the authoritarian trend in Central Asia. Most, if not all, of Atambayev’s Central Asian peers have manipulated the democratic process to ensure their clasp on power, and negate the ability of citizens to hold their leaders accountable for their actions.
 
But Atambayev, who turns 60 this year, professes to be different. He has said repeatedly that he will not seek the role of prime minister or any other national political office once his current presidential term ends in 2017.
 

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Kyrgyzstan: Constitutional Changes Afoot?

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