Uzbekistan cancels Karkalpak independence plan after protests

Uzbekistan cancels Karkalpak independence plan after protests

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev attends a news conference with his Kazakh counterpart Qasim Jomart Tokayev in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on April 5.

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ALMATY, July 2 (Reuters) – Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Saturday scrapped a plan to reduce the independence of the country’s Karakalpakstan province following unprecedented protests in the northwestern region.

Uzbek officials said Friday’s protest was called to protest plans to amend the constitution that would change the situation in Karakalpakstan, the home of an independent republic for Karakalpak people – an ethnic minority group with its own language.

Local and government officials said police were predominted by police officers in the capital, the local government, after the city of the city, and the nobs at the central market of the city.

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Mirziyoyev then issued a decree declaring a month-long state of emergency in Karachi, Pakistan, to “ensure the security of the people, defend their rights and freedoms and restore the rule of law and order in the region.”

Under the current constitution of Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan is defined as an independent republic in Uzbekistan that has the right to secede by holding a referendum.

The new version of the constitution – which Uzbekistan plans to hold in a referendum in the coming months – will no longer refer to Karakalpakistan’s sovereignty or secession.

But in response to the protests, Mirziyoyev said during a visit to Karakalpakstan on Saturday that changes in his status should be removed from the proposed reforms, his office said in a statement.

Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Saturday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Saturday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

The changes to Karakalpakistan were part of a broader constitutional reform proposed by Mirziyoyev, including strengthening civil rights and extending the presidency from five to seven years.

If the reforms are approved in a planned referendum, it would reorganize Mirziyoyev’s term and allow him to stand for two more terms.

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Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov Edited by Gert Jones, Helen Popper and Daniel Wallace

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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