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Politics

Kyrgyzstan power play culminates in Sunday constitution vote

President Japarov poised to gain virtually total control in 'huge shift'

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov takes part in his inauguration ceremony in Bishkek in January. Just a few months earlier, he was in a jail cell.   © Reuters

BISKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyzstan heads to the polls on Sunday for a constitutional referendum, the final act in a power play that has elevated former prisoner Sadyr Japarov to president.

The referendum on changes to the charter is expected to pass easily, bookending a dramatic six months for the impoverished Central Asian nation that began last October with protests over a rigged parliamentary election.

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