Kurmanbek Bakiyev said on Tuesday: "I have not set myself the goal of dissolving parliament. But I have such a constitutional right and, of course, if contradictions between the legislature and the executive continues what will I have left to do? I cannot watch such an orgy."

The president's warning came after a group of opposition politicians in Kyrgyzstan occupied the country's parliament on Monday and voted for a new constitution that will reduce the president's powers.

However, as the parliamentarians were several votes short of the number needed to legally ratify the bill on Monday night, the legal status of their constitution is still unclear.

"We only need another four signatures to have a quorum," Bulot Sherniyasov, an opposition member of parliament told reporters, on Tuesday morning.

"If the president refuses to sign this document, then we will ask the people to give their verdict."

Kyrgyz opposition groups have held widespread demonstrations

Under Kyrgyz law, 51 members of the 75-seat parliament are needed to approve changes to the constitution before they can become law.

Only 34 opposition MPs were in parliament on Monday night. On Tuesday they said they had since gained the support of several more MPs.

For the last six days several thousand people have demonstrated in Bishkek, the capital, to call for Bakiyev's resignation, accusing him of incompetence.

Popular uprising

Bakiyev himself came to power after a popular uprising in March 2005, but tenure is fragile and many former supporters say he has gone back on promises to reform the Central Asian state.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev's presidency has been marked by crises

A mountainous ex-Soviet country that borders China, Kyrgyzstan is home to both US and Russian air bases.

It is part of a Central Asian region where Washington, Moscow and Beijing jostle for influence and energy resources.

Opposition protests in Bishkek, the capital, were expected to move into their sixth day on Tuesday.

On Monday, police guarding the parliament deserted their posts and joined the opposition's protests.