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Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 10:27 UK

Kyrgyzstan's new leaders set October election date

File image of Omurbek Tekebayev, from March 2010
Mr Tekebayev said the power of the presidency would be reduced

Kyrgyzstan's interim government says it will hold elections on 10 October, after a constitutional referendum on reducing presidential powers.

Omurbek Tekebayev, the new government's deputy head, announced the plans on national television.

He said the new constitution, to be put to a vote on 27 July, would prevent power being concentrated in one place.

The interim government took control after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in violent protests on 7 April.

More than 80 people died and hundreds were injured in the violence, which erupted on a day of opposition protests.

Mr Bakiyev, who the interim government blames for the deaths, is now in Belarus. He insists he remains the president, but appears to have secured little domestic or international support.

On Thursday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Mr Bakiyev's resignation, faxed to Bishkek after he flew to Kazakhstan, could not be retracted.

No immunity

The interim government, led by a former foreign minister, Roza Otunbayeva, had promised to hold elections within six months.

Mr Tekebayev said that the new constitution would prevent authoritarianism.

"In the new draft, the state and political system will be set up to prevent concentration of power in one (set of) hands," he said.

"The president will lose his immunity and his family will not be subsidised by the state. The head of state will live on his own salary."

He said no party would be allowed more than 50 seats in the 90-seat parliament - which has in recent years been dominated by Mr Bakiyev's party.

The new government is working to restore order after the violence earlier this month, amid sporadic reports of unrest in the south of the country.



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