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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 00:36 GMT
Kyrgyz MPs make constitution deal
Opposition demonstrators
Tensions appear to have eased since the deal was reached
MPs in Kyrgyzstan say they have reached a deal on a new draft constitution that will curb the powers of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

It is not immediately clear whether Mr Bakiyev will accept the deal, as he was not part of the negotiating process.

The announcement follows a day of clashes between government and opposition supporters in Bishkek.

Hundreds of troops are still on the streets, and rival demonstrations are set to carry on into the night.

The violence, in which several people were injured, is the first in six days of protests by opposition supporters calling for the president to resign.

'Wrong direction'

Parliament is due to vote on the new constitution on Wednesday.

TULIP REVOLUTION WILTS
map
March 2005 - Former President Akayev ousted in popular protest
July - Kurmanbek Bakiyev elected President
April 2006 - Thousands protest for end to corruption and crime
November - Opposition calls for constitutional reform and curbing of presidential powers

"If the new constitution is adopted tomorrow, the protests will end," said Azimbek Beknazarov, a leader of the opposition movement For Reforms.

Parliament speaker Marat Sultanov said the draft called for a 90-member parliament instead of the current 75, and the majority grouping after parliamentary elections would form a government.

The president currently has the power to form a government.

There has been no immediate comment from President Bakiyev.

Earlier on Tuesday, the opposition presented their own draft constitution - which the government rejected. The Kyrgyz president described the opposition move as an open attempt to seize power.

But legislators who back the president have now endorsed the compromise deal.

AFP news agency quoted opposition MP Almaz Atambayev as saying they changed their minds after the protests turned violent.

"The pro-Bakiyev MPs, after the shots, understood that the country was being led in the wrong direction," he said.

President Bakiyev had warned before the deal was made that he could dissolve parliament.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Police fire tear gas on Bishkek protesters



SEE ALSO
Kyrgyz protesters call for change
02 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Voices from Bishkek protest rally
02 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Kurmanbek Bakiyev
11 Jul 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Kyrgyz revolution gains remain unequal
21 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Kyrgyzstan
29 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

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