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Ukraine’s new constitution to be sent to Venice Commission before presidential polls

April 11, 2014, 21:01 UTC+3 DONETSK
“By the day of the election of the head of state, the country knew which competences would be vested in the president, the government, prosecutor general’s office and other authorities,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk says
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

DONETSK, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. A draft of Ukraine’s new constitution will be sent to the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters, before the presidential elections, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Friday.

“I think we will be able to send a draft of the new constitution to the Venice Commission before the presidential elections,” he said. “Amendments to the constitution should be passed before the presidential polls so that by the day of the election of the head of state, the country knew which competences would be vested in the president, the government, prosecutor general’s office and other authorities. It is our political task and we a responsible before the Ukrainian people. And we can do it in the shortest time possible.”

Set up in 1990, the Venice Commission is an advisory body of the Council of Europe in the field of constitutional law. The Commission's official name is the European Commission for Democracy through Law, but due to its seat in Venice, Italy, where it meets four times a year, it is usually referred to as the Venice Commission.

Starting with a membership of 18 states, soon all member states of the Council of Europe joined the Venice Commission and since 2002 non-European states can also become full members. Now the Commission has 59 member states: the 47 Council of Europe member states, plus 12 other countries (Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mexico, Peru, Tunisia and the United States).

The commission provides conclusions on requests from parliaments, governments and heads of state of the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Presidential elections in Ukraine are scheduled for May 25.

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