Kyrgyz president calls for capital punishment abolition

Kyrgyz President called Thursday for constitutional amendments that would abolish the death penalty and strip future presidents of immunity from prosecution after they step down from office.

Kyrgyzstan has had a moratorium on executions since 1998, and it aimed to abolish the capital punishment altogether by 2010.

Speaking to members of the Constitutional Council, which is expected to draft constitutional amendments by the year's end, Kurmanbek Bakiyev also warned against limiting presidents to just one term.

The current constitution allows a president to serve no more than two consecutive terms. The council has proposed changing that to a one-term limit, but Bakiyev warned the council to be careful in discussing measures that would shift powers from the president to the parliament.

"We have all the grounds to develop and strengthen a presidential-parliamentary model of state," Bakiyev said.

Bakiyev also insisted the council review the proposed amendments and increase the number of its members from the current 289 representatives of parliament, government and civil society.

He suggested Kyrgyz citizens should be allowed to hold dual citizenship, saying it was "a fateful issue for hundreds of thousands of our compatriots living abroad." Many Kyrgyz migrants have left this ex-Soviet republic in search of work in Russia and neighboring Kazakhstan.

The opposition that came to power during a March uprising which ousted longtime former President Askar Akayev has pledged to carry out constitutional reforms.


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