Venice Commission ready to provide Kyrgyz authorities with opinion on constitutional amendments

BISHKEK (TCA) — The European Commission for Democracy through Law — better known as the Venice Commission — is ready to provide the Kyrgyz authorities with an opinion on draft Constitutional amendments proposed in Kyrgyzstan, Gianni Buquicchio, the president of the Venice Commission, said in a statement on August 5.  

The initiative to amend the Constitution has come from President Almazbek Atambayev and several factions of the Kyrgyz Parliament. The draft Constitutional amendments have been submitted for public discussion and have already caused criticism from the civil society. A nationwide referendum for their adoption may be held this autumn.

The proposed amendments seem, inter alia, to affect the position of the Constitutional Chamber, the Venice Commission said. In 2015, the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR prepared a Joint Opinion on draft constitutional amendments, which also affected the Constitutional Chamber. This Opinion may be relevant to the current amendments as well as to the procedure for amending the Constitution.

“Such amendments deserve serious consideration and a thorough public debate. As the Kyrgyz Republic is a full member of the Venice Commission, the Commission stands ready to provide the Kyrgyz authorities with an opinion on these draft amendments, should they make such a request,” the Commission’s President said.

The Venice Commission is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters. The role of the Venice Commission is to provide legal advice to its member states and, in particular, to help states wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures into line with European standards and international experience in the fields of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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