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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kyrgyz Leader Vows to Press Ahead on Political Reforms

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev, accused by opponents of backtracking on democracy, on Wednesday vowed to press ahead with constitutional reform in an apparent bid to end months of bickering with the opposition.

Opposition groups have threatened to hold rallies next month if Bakiyev, who came to power after a coup last year, failed to prove his commitment to democracy and constitutional reform that would curb presidential powers.

Bakiyev said the "question of constitutional reform will be solved by the end of the year."

"[The] parliament and I should come to consensus on the final draft of the new constitution in November," he said in a statement issued by his press service.

Kyrgyzstan has been buffeted by instability since the coup that ousted Askar Akayev in 2005.

Bakiyev, hugely popular at the time of his election, has been deserted by his former allies, who accuse his government of having links to the criminal world and failing to bring stability.

Some of his fiercest critics are in the parliament, which is packed with former Akayev allies and has pressed Bakiyev to transfer some of his powers to them.

The office of the president has wide powers to dissolve the parliament and call elections while the legislature's ability to start impeachment proceedings are very limited. The president also appoints judges and regional governors.

Since Akayev fled the country, Bakiyev's government has stumbled from one crisis to another against a backdrop of rising violent crime and accusations of corruption and nepotism.