Tailoring Constitution overnight
New Constitution of Kyrgyzstan was tailored literally within 2 nights. Amidst the public disturbance caused by the opposition rally in the capital city Bishkek Kyrgyz president chose to compromise with opposition and signed the draft of the Constitution that restricts his power dramatically.
The parliament voted for the new Constitution late at night. It was the second emergency session during the 5 days of unrest. It was also the very first case of the workaholism of Kyrgyz MPs. Before they kept failing to get quorums even during daytime, but this was an exceptional case with too mush at stake. Arkady Dubnov who witnessed the whole process of adopting the Constitution writes:
“ According to the legal procedure the draft of the Constitution was supposed to go through 2 readings. To read it twice took Kyrgyz MPs 2 (!) minutes. With such incredible speed 65 out of 75 MPs managed to vote for the new Constitution. I doubt that anyone really bothered to double-check the content. Deputies chose to trust their colleagues responsible for preparing the draft. Half an hour before they started voting several deputies, though, were expressing their concerns about the danger of fabrications”.
According to the new Constitution Kyrgyzstan transforms into the presidential-parliamentary republic, president’s power is curtailed, the right to nominate government members is assumed by the parliament. Thus it turned out that it is solely the executive branch of power in the country that turned into the hostage of current political bargaining. It was agreed in the Constitution that the current leader of the country and the parliament remain in power till 2010.
It is evident that all other chapters and details hardly were of any interest for the majority parliament members. The key word was more power and Kyrgyz MPs, through pressing the president and speculating on the threat of the civil war, managed to get it. It is worth emphasizing, by the way, that the majority of those picketing in the streets of Bishkek for the new Constitution were hardly even able to explain what the reasons were for them to join the rally. Let alone the fact, that almost noone was able to answer the question what exactly had to be changed in the Constitution. It was obvious that once again people were fooled by their leaders. While screaming the slogans about democracy, equality and general happiness for all people of Kyrgyzstan, the members of the united opposition were ready to utilize all means available in order to obtain power exclusively for themselves. Speculating with slogans about powerholders who deceived their people after the revolution in March 2005, they pretended to forget about the fact that it is exactly the parliament in its current composition sparked this revolution. The fact that the current parliament, that, according to the new Constitution got empowered even more that it was before, was the most scandalous in the history of Kyrgyz parliamentary was somehow left on the margins.
Anyhow, some of the members of Kyrgyz parliament proved themselves to be capable of causing big troubles and setting the country on the edge of the civil war, indeed. These qualities in the current situation turned out to be the most vital ones: the so-called opposition turned the last night into the celebration of its victory on the main square which was full of the piles of rubbish that has been left there by the “proponents of democracy”. The crowd was celebrating because they were told to do so by the members of the opposition. Former protesters didn’t even know that there was not even enough time to revise the content of the main document of the country with quite a number of grammar mistakes left in it.