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Ukrainian radicals urge to change constitution via referendum

August 31, 2015, 18:43 UTC+3 KIEV
On Monday, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada passed in the first reading the amendments to the country’s constitution on decentralization
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© TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, August 31. /TASS/. A draft law has been registered in Ukraine’s parliament calling for a moratorium on constitutional changes over the conflict in the country’s east, the Verkhovna Rada said on its website on Monday.

The bill, initiated by Ukraine’s Radical party, is aimed at imposing a moratorium on constitutional amendments on decentralization and putting the issue to a referendum, an explanatory note said.

On Monday, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada passed in the first reading the amendments to the country’s constitution on decentralization. These amendments proposed by President Petro Poroshenko were supported by 265 lawmakers, above a required minimum of 226 votes. A total of 87 parliamentarians voted against the changes.

The amendments to Ukraine’s constitution should be passed at two Verkhovna Rada sessions - first by a simple majority of votes (226 votes), and then - by the constitutional one (at least 300 votes).

The voting for the constitutional amendments on decentralization has brought to an end the second session of the Verkhovna Rada. Then the document will be submitted to the next parliament session due to begin on September 1 for passing it on the whole.

Constitutional reform is an important part of the February 12 comprehensive action plan to fulfil the Minsk accords worked out by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the search for peace in the embattled eastern Donbas region.

A key element of reform is decentralization of government with respect to the peculiarities of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions agreed with their representatives, as well as adopting permanent legislation on the special status of certain Donbas areas.

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