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Poroshenko asks Venice Commission to study his constitutional amendments

June 26, 2014, 21:27 UTC+3 KIEV
Petro Poroshenko has proposed a parliamentary-presidential form of government in Ukraine
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko


KIEV, June 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked the Venice Commission to study the proposed amendments to his country’s constitution.

At a meeting with Commission Chairman Gianni Buquicchio in Brussels on Thursday, June 26, Poroshenko said that the draft amendments called for “decentralization of power in Ukraine” and had already been submitted to the Ukrainian parliament.

“This is a question of decentralization which is the most important element of the peace plan for Donbass [south-east of Ukraine],” the presidential press service quoted Poroshenko as saying.

He noted that “Ukraine needs this document to be considered by the Venice Commission as soon as possible”.

Buquicchio assured Poroshenko that the Commission was ready to study the amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution and present its preliminary assessment.

The constitutional amendments proposed by 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” not “proposals of a coalition of deputy factions” as now.

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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