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BREAKING NEWS - Ukraine deal made for revote, constitutional reform

[JURIST] AP is reporting that in the wake of multiparty deal to withdraw protestors from government buildings and hold a revote of the disputed Ukranian Presidential election, Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has proposed holding a new vote on Dec. 19. As previously reported in JURIST's Paper Chase, Kyiv-based webloggers, following local media reports, are saying that the internationally-brokered deal, details of which are still sketchy, also involves a renunciation of violence by all parties, a commitment to constitutional reform in the "upcoming period", and the establishment of a working group to examine the legal issues arising from the election, pursuant to the decision of the Supreme Court.

2:07 PM ET - The Ukrainian Maidan civic activism website is reporting that Yushencko, speaking just a few minutes ago in Independence Square, has called on protestors to stay in the Square "until Supreme Court and Verkhovna Rada [the Ukrainian parliament] declare precise date of revoting."

2:16 PM ET - The office of Ukrainian President Leonid Kushma has released photos taken after the multilateral meeting, including one of Yushenko and Yanukovych shaking hands, below:

An AP story on the deal is now online here, noting that "Under the deal, a group of lawyers would be convened immediately to consider changes in Ukrainian law in a bid to resolve the crisis. Yushchenko told reporters the lawyers must come up with proposals within 24 hours."

3:35 PM ET - An official English-language statement on the deal reached at the multilateral meeting is now available from the office of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. It reads:

At their second session in Kyiv on December 1, 2004, the Parties in the round table meeting considered in detail development of the political situation in Ukraine and agreed on the following:

1. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to exclude the use of force for solving problems arisen after the second round of the presidential election in Ukraine.

2. The Parties agreed on the necessity to immediately release governmental agencies from blockade and create conditions for performing their functions.

3. The Parties agreed on formation of an expert group for an immediate legal analysis and suggestion of appropriate proposals for the completion of the presidential elections in Ukraine based on a corresponding decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

4. The Parties agreed on the adoption of a political reform, along with amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine as per the Draft Law 4180 and successive formation of the Ukrainian government, in the single package with amendments to the Law "On Election of the President of Ukraine".

5. The Parties call on all Ukraine's political forces to proceed from the necessity to preserve the country's territorial integrity, when taking decisions.

6. The Parties call on all the political forces, factions and deputy groups in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, other governmental agencies and bodies of local government to concentrate their forces on the adjustment of the social and economic situation in Ukraine and overcoming crisis phenomena in the national economy.

7. The Parties agreed on holding the next round table meeting upon a corresponding decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
The original version of the statement is here.

7:10 PM ET - This text notably makes no explicit mention of a revote, contrary to original reports, although the lawyers group was directed to present proposals for the "completion of the elction", and an understanding seems to be emerging between the parties that a new poll of some sort will be required after the Ukraine Supreme Court's ruling, which opposition leader Yushchenko has said he expects sometime Thursday. AP has this late report on the day's developments.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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