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Thousands demand trimming of Kyrgyzstan President's powers

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Thousands demand trimming of Kyrgyzstan President's powers

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Tens of thousands of opposition supporters have gathered in the capital of Kyrgyzstan demanding the president implement constitutional reforms.

At the height of the demonstration there were some 30,000 people in the central square of Bishkek.

The opposition is calling for a revision of the constitution which would see the head of state’s powers trimmed.

MP Melis Eshimkanov said: “We want to break this corrupt system, this family rule, this total chaos in the govermental system. We want freedom in the full meaning of the term”.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev came to power in elections in early 2005. He said in parliament that the opposition should not pressure him but that he would submit amendments to the constitution next Monday.

Violent protests in March last year ousted Bakiyev’s predecessor Askar Akayev. The opposition accuses Bakiyev of failing to tackle corruption and raise living standards in the impoverished former Soviet republic.