Kyrgyzstan's new constitution approved by over 90% of votes
Only 8% voted against. For Rosa Otunbayeva it is a sign that the country is united and is the beginning of real democracy. But Medvedev fears renewed fighting and growing extremism.

Bishkek (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In a referendum which ended yesterday Kyrgyzstan adopted a new constitution giving more powers to parliament and reducing those of the president. According to the provisional leadership, the changes should bring more stability to the country, marked by violence in recent months, after the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April.

The Central Election Commission said today that with almost all votes counted, 90.7% supported changing the constitution and about 8% voted against it. The final results are expected in one or two days.

Rosa Otunbayeva, interim president has praised the outcome as the beginning of "a true people's democracy", ending a management power that was "authoritarian and familial”, typical of the previous presidents, Askar Akiyev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev, showing that the country is united.

The referendum took place after two weeks of clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, which killed hundreds of people and force over 400 000 Uzbeks to flee.

The curfew imposed in parts of the south, where the clashes took place, was temporarily removed to allow the holding of the vote.

Several observers warned against holding the referendum in such a tense situation, but it has gained the support of the UN, U.S. and Russia.

Nevertheless, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday that he fears the referendum will create even more division in the country and the new Constitution is likely to stoke extremism.

The "yes" to the referendum will allow the formation of a new government which will remain in office until elections, planned for September. Rosa Otubayeva will take on the functions of president until the presidential elections scheduled in October 2011.