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President Uzbek cancels proposal to prevent withdrawal vote

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The Associated Press

AP communication

Moscow (AP) — The President of Uzbekistan has withdrawn the proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent the Karakalpacstan region from conducting a referendum on separation from the country.

A large-scale protest against the proposed change occurred on Friday in Nuku, the capital of the region. Demonstrators reportedly clashed with police in an attempt to seize a government building.

Karakalpakstan is a vast, mostly desert area in northwestern Uzbekistan.

President Shavkato Milziyoev met with local lawmakers the day after the turmoil and announced that the later proposed new constitution would retain the right to seek withdrawal from the region. He also imposed a curfew on the area, which lasts until August 2.

On the first night of the curfew, there was no turmoil, Russian news agency Tas said a National Guard spokesman said.