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Proposed constitutional changes may give Ukrainian president more powers

June 26, 2014, 17:59 UTC+3 UKRAINE

According to Petro Poroshenko, the decentralization of authority is the key point in his project

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Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko

© ITAR-TASS/Nikolai Lazarenko

UKRAINE, June 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Constitutional amendments proposed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proclaim decentralization of power as a key priority but at the same time may increase his powers to make up for the system of “checks and balances” he will lose if he cedes some of his functions to the legislature.

According to the amendments, the prime minister will be nominated by the president “taking into account the parliamentary coalition’s proposals” instead of “proposals of a coalition of deputy factions”, as it is today.

The president will also be able to dismiss the prosecutor general and the head of the Security Service whereas now he has to obtain the parliament’s consent for that. The same will apply to the head of the State Bureau of Investigation and possibly to the head of the Antimonopoly Committee.

Poroshenko proposed a parliamentary-presidential form of government in Ukraine.

The amendments call for dissolving regional and district administrations and giving their powers to the local councils, in which case they will be empowered to adopt regional budgets and authorize budget spending, approve regional socioeconomic development programs, and regulate law enforcement issues.

Poroshenko suggested creating the institution of presidential representatives in regions who will coordinate the work of the local councils. They will also be empowered to stop their decisions if they are in breach of Ukrainian laws by taking the matter to court. The heads of regional and district administrations have no such powers now.

Poroshenko reiterated his position that “Ukrainian is and will be the only official language in the country”.

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