Kyrgyz police stop anti-govt. protesters from setting up camp

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Police in Kyrgyzstan prevented opposition activists from setting up a camp outside the government headquarters in the capital Bishkek on Tuesday, ahead of an anti-government rally planned for November 2.
BISHKEK, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - Police in Kyrgyzstan prevented opposition activists from setting up a camp outside the government headquarters in the capital Bishkek on Tuesday, ahead of an anti-government rally planned for November 2.

The opposition said they will stage mass street protests in Bishkek and other Kyrgyz cities on Thursday if President Kurmanbek Bakiyev does not agree to a change in the constitution that would delegate some of his powers to parliament.

In a bid to resolve the standoff, Bakiyev received six opposition leaders for talks earlier on Tuesday, but the sides failed to reach a compromise deal.

Bakiyev came to power in 2005 on the back of anti-government protests, which forced his long-standing predecessor, Askar Akayev, to step down.

Now Bakiyev also faces calls for resignation, with the opposition accusing him of inefficiency in fighting corruption and implementing economic reforms in the impoverished former Soviet republic.

Security is being tightened in central Bishkek ahead of Thursday's rally, expected to draw opposition activists and supporters from throughout the Central Asian country.

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