[JURIST] A political confrontation between the Verkhovna Rada [official website], the Ukraine parliament, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; BBC profile] appears to be heading to the country's Constitutional Court after the parliament Friday passed legislation to define and expand the powers of the cabinet in defiance of an earlier presidential veto. Yushchenko promised to challenge the new legislation, supported by 366 of 370 lawmakers present, which he insists will fundamentally restrict his role, effectively enabling ministers led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile], who received Russia's backing in the presidential race against Yushchenko in 2004, to usurp power. The bill was first passed on December 21 but sent to Yushchenko who made several amendments; the parliament vote rejected all of the President's 42 proposed amendments.
Yushchenko has said he will not sign [ForUm report] any of the laws adopted by the parliament today. RIA Novosti has more. UNIAN has additional coverage.