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Kyrgyz referendum grants Japarov full power: preliminary results

Armed with revised constitution, president faces pressure to keep promises

Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov votes in the constitutional referendum in Bishkek on April 11.   © Kyrgyz Presidential Press Service via Reuters

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyzstan's referendum on radical changes to its constitution passed on Sunday, according to the preliminary results, returning the mountainous Central Asian country to strongman rule with power concentrated in the hands of the president rather than parliament.

The preliminary electronic count showed 78.2% in favor versus only 13.4% against, with turnout just clearing the 30% required to validate the vote.

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