Kyrgyzstan Approves New Constitution

Kyrgyz voters approved a proposed new constitution on Monday, with officials claiming at least a 90 percent support for the charter, which people hope could help end ethnic violence in the southern part of the country.

Central Elections Committee spokeswoman Galina Skripkina said around 70 percent of the country’s 2.7 million voters joined the referendum, which is seen as the first step towards the formation of a new government following the ouster of former President Kumanbek Bakiyev in April. Hundreds of thousands of minority Uzbeks are believed to have failed to cast their votes due to the ethnic violence that occurred last month in the city of Osh, where up to 2,000 people were killed. Officials say some 400,000 minority Uzbeks were displaced during the turmoil.

Interim leader Roza Otunbayeva said she will soon take her oath as the country’s caretaker president and later form her government. Members of the new administration will also form a lawmaking body to provide needed legislation.

Parliament elections are scheduled to be held in October.