Politicians in Kyrgyzstan have lost the country’s constitution.
It emerged during a debate over planned changes to the law that nobody in the central Asian country knew where the original document was.
The most recent version of the constitution was approved by referendum in June 2010, when changes were made to give more authority to parliament and diminish the power of the president.
On 19 October members of the Kyrgyz parliament queried the exact location of the original copy of the document during a debate on whether to allow another referendum to take place in December, which could result in the consistution being amended again.
Some commentators have suggested the mystery of the missing document is a ruse to distract the population from concerns over planned changes to basic law in the country, which has a turbulent recent political past. In spring 2010, parliament was ransacked in a revolution which overthrew president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Justice Minister Jyldyz Mambetalieva said her office had a copy of the 2010 constitution, but that the original is held by the presidential administration.
Why can't they just rename it Kansas?
[S]ince it was discovered to be missing, neither the Ministry of Justice, the archive or the administration of President Almazbek Atambayev claimed to have ever had it, suggesting the document was not simply misplaced. Atambayev’s office announced Tuesday that a master copy of the constitution, complete with all relevant signatures, did not exist.
But Prime Minister Farid Niyazov said the 2010 version of the constitution had already been published in the state newspaper of record at the time of the document’s drafting, which makes it legally binding without having to be signed.
This has avoided a constitutional crisis in the country but has embarrassed the Kyrgyz government and exposed a “disregard for legal procedure and a disrespect for the voters”, according to national news agency 24.
The Kyrgyz leader, who was hospitalized last month, and temporarily relieved of his presidential duties, has said he has no interest in doing this and plans to release a music album when he leaves office.
Along with the announcement about his upcoming album, Atambayev also released his second song on Thursday, also in Russian, entitled “I Cannot Live Without You”. The video for it is compiled from a 1967 Soviet film called Once Again For Love and it has gathered 5,000 views within the first few hours of its upload.