Reuters International

Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev addresses a news conference in Berlin, April 1, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo


BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev's condition has improved and he may be discharged from hospital by the end of the week, his office said on Tuesday, a week after the 60-year-old leader went on medical leave due to suspected heart problems.

Atambayev is being treated in Moscow after suffering chest pains on a flight last week and undergoing an examination in Turkey.

His illness followed a heated exchange with several former political allies who oppose constitutional reforms proposed by Atambayev.

Indicating that the Bishkek government planned to press ahead with the reforms, a parliamentary committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would call a referendum on the proposed reforms if they are approved by the legislature.

The planned constitutional changes are not major and will not allow Atambayev to stay on after his term ends in 2017.

But some of his opponents say they strengthen the powers of the prime minister, a role which he could in theory take on after stepping down as president.

Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished, mostly Muslim nation of 6 million, has been politically volatile in recent years. Violent protests in 2005 and 2010 toppled two successive presidents.

(Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by)


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