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Ukraine opposition activist says no mention of Donbas special status in constitution draft

June 02, 2015, 20:15 UTC+3 KIEV
The draft does not envisage refusal of excessive centralization and practically does not change the existing system of relations between the central and local authorities
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Leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk

Leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk

© EPA/TASS/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

KIEV, June 2. /TASS/. Ukraine’s constitutional reform "threatens to turn into a grandiose sham," leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk said on Tuesday.

According to him, the draft prepared by the constitutional commission does not envisage refusal of excessive centralization and practically does not change the existing system of relations between the central and local authorities. And "there is not a word in the new Constitution draft about granting a special status to separate districts of Donbass, in accordance with the Minsk agreements," Medvedchuk said.

Meanwhile, "not only DPR and LPR, but also Western partners, as well as representatives of authoritative foreign institutions have recently demanded that official Kiev conduct a real, and not just declarative constitutional reform," the statement says.

However, there is the risk that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine will fail to meet the deadline for the consideration of constitutional changes concerning power decentralization, Medvedchuk said. "Changes must be adopted in line with all the procedures as required by the law before the end of the second session of the eighth Rada, that is, before July 15. To be able to get the Venice Commission conclusion, the MPs must submit the Constitution draft to it in early June - which is next to impossible," he said.

"Ukraine needs a Constitution that would correspond to present-day realities and that would reflect aspirations of the whole Ukrainian society and not its ruling establishment. Only this can save us," Medvevchuk said.

Ukraine’s constitutional reform is one of the key provisions of the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian settlement, along with ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, heavy weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbass.

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