Kyrgyzstan's nearly year old constitutional crisis was definitively resolved by the popular referendum held on February 10, 1996. The referendum, passed by a 94.5% majority, amended Article 7 of the constitution to more clearly define the division of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of Kyrgyzstan's government.
The legislative gridlock was a result of an unsuccessful synthesis of the Kyrgyz constitution adopted by the Soviet era parliament in May 1993 and the two tier parliament adopted by popular referendum in October 1994. The two chambers of parliament were in dispute over their respective responsibilities thus halting most legislative work. This forced the president to call for the referendum to settle the issue.
The constitution now defines the Kyrgyz government as follows:
The parliament consists of two chambers; the Legislative Assembly composed of full-time legislators responsible for the day-to-day workload, and the Assembly of People's Representatives -- non-professional legislators convening several times a year to deliberate on budget, tax, administrative, and appointment issues. Both chambers are popularly elected and serve at the will of the people.
The amendment grants the President appointment powers in cabinet posts and the National Bank. As a balance on presidential power the parliament has confirmation authority over the presidential appointees to the posts of Prime Minister, judges of the Constitutional, Supreme and Supreme Arbitrage Courts as well as the Procurator General.
President Akaev announced that the new streamlined structure will expedite political and economic reforms and eliminate redundancy in government. President Akaev hopes to announce his new cabinet soon and expects the redefinition of powers to benefit all of Kyrgyzstan.