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Ukraine president calls for new constitution

[JURIST] Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; JURIST news archive] recommended to the Ukrainian Parliament [official website] that a committee be formed to draft a new constitution during his state of the union address [transcript, in Ukrainian] on Thursday. Yushchenko has been in conflict with parliament after rejecting their vote to dissolve his government [JURIST report] last month, and has criticized constitutional changes that have limited his authority [JURIST report] and expanded parliament's power. Under the current Ukrainian constitution [text], the president must call for a referendum on constitutional issues, which Yushchenko has vowed to do [press release]. He expressed his optimism in the process by saying:

The completed draft would be submitted to country-wide discussion...and would then be put to a country-wide referendum. [The proposal is] optimal in terms of uniting the tasks of mass participation and the legitimacy of the entire constitutional process. I am certain we can achieve a full consensus on this matter.
Reuters has more.

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