Kazakhstan hopes the recent referendum in Kyrgyzstan will lay the foundations for peace and stability in the country, Kazakh President and OSCE chairman Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Tuesday.
"We hope the recent referendum in Kyrgyzstan will lay the foundations for stability in the country and meet the expectations of the people for peace and a better life," Nazarbayev said during his opening speech at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) high-level conference on tolerance and non-discrimination currently underway in the Kazakh city of Astana.
According to preliminary results of the referendum, some 91% of Kyrgyz voters approved changes to the constitution that reduce the president's powers and make Kyrgyzstan a parliamentary republic. Voters also endorsed interim leader Roza Otunbayeva as president for the transitional period until December 31, 2011.
Sunday's referendum followed several days of bloody interethnic riots that began in the Central Asian country on June 11. The clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks claimed the lives of more than 280 people, according to government figures, but Kyrgyz officials acknowledge that the real death toll may be 10 times higher.
ASTANA, June 29 (RIA Novosti)