Asia-Pacific

Kyrgyzstan vote: 'We need change'

Two Kyrgyz residents who voted for and against the proposed constitutional changes in the 27 June referendum discuss the outcome of the vote and the future of their country.

Buajar Abdykadyrova, University lecturer, Bishkek

Buajar is from Osh, where she has relatives who are still struggling to recover from the shock of the violence there earlier this month.

I voted for acceptance of the new constitution. The main idea is that we get a parliamentary type of government, rather than a presidential type. The country will be ruled by parliament, not by the president, whose powers will shrink.

I believe that this is a more just and a more democratic way of rule. A president with strong powers didn't work for us because of our Asian mentality.

We Asians value our families very much and whoever becomes president, even if it's the best person for the job, inevitably starts supporting their family. [Ousted President Kurmabek] Bakiyev has many brothers. Each of them has children. The president can't always control his own family.

And the biggest problem is not the president. There are many things. The new constitution has more checks and balances. It will not allow for power to be concentrated to one group of people. There will be a fairer distribution of duties and power.

This will definitely bring stability and democracy, which we need after the unrest and violence in the last few months.

The situation in Osh is still very fragile. The supermarket of my brother-in-law was burnt a few weeks ago. He witnessed a murder and he is still in shock after what he's been through.

It's very dangerous to walk on the streets. People get abducted - to be killed in revenge, or to be exchanged with other hostages. The current government is not in full control and people there are not optimistic at all.

Bakyt Mukambetov, student, Bishkek

Bakyt's family has a small shop that was completely destroyed during the April uprising.

Image caption April's uprising lead to the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev

I voted against the proposed changes. I am not against the change in general, but I don't think we are ready for such a big change and I don't know how long is it going to take us to adapt to the new system.

I am the only one in my family who voted against. My parents voted for the new constitution. They saw that the presidential republic didn't work for the last 20 years so they thought maybe a different system will be better.

I think the interim government changed the constitution to consolidate their own power. That was another reason why I voted against.

I don't believe there is anyone in the interim government who is capable of bringing the change that's needed. They are all the same people, there's no single man who could bring some kind of hope.

True, there's one woman - [interim leader] Roza [Otunbayeva] - and she is the only person in the whole government who I trust.

I believe that we need a more authoritarian style of leadership, we need someone who will work for the nation, not for himself. Now, because of our mentality, the whole parliament will get bribed every time they are about to pass a law on something. Maybe it will work in 10 years, but not now.

We are the first country from the former Soviet Union who will have this new system, I don't know how it's going to work. It did work in Turkey, and we are similar people, but they are so far ahead of us. Things will change only when the young generation comes to power and the old way of thinking is gone.

The same old people don't want to leave - we need fresh blood, new thinking.

We Kyrgyz people are hard-working people and we can't stand when one man steals from everyone. That's why we made all this revolution. I feel very proud that we were brave enough to stand up and make our voices heard.

Many friends from abroad call me to ask about the bad things that are happening, but I tell them, we are proud of these changes. It's because of us, we made this happen. Whoever comes to power, they'll always remember that.

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