Ukraine PM calls for constitutional changes to define roles of president and parliament

Ukraine PM calls for constitutional changes to define roles of president and parliament

[JURIST] Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website] called for constitutional changes to provide more separation between parliamentary and presidential powers during a Thursday interview [report] with Reuters. Tymoshenko said that she believed that the presidency should retain certain powers, but that parliament should be given clear ways to check those powers. She said that by amending the country's constitution [text, in Ukrainian] to clarify the different roles, the government would be better able to address the country's problems, which include strong inflation and high unemployment. The Ukraine government has been criticized [Kyiv Post report] for being ineffective because of a power-struggle [JURIST report] between the branches.

In October, Tymoshenko withdrew a lawsuit [JURIST report] she had brought against Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko [official website; JURIST news archive] after he suspended a plan [press release; AFP report] to hold early elections following the collapse [press release] of the country's coalition government. Before suspending the plan, Yushchenko had issued a decree [decree 922/2008 text, in Ukrainian; JURIST report] abolishing a Kiev court after it tried to block [JURIST report] his order dissolving parliament. Ukraine's leadership is divided in the wake of the 2004 Orange Revolution [Foreign Affairs backgrounder] that brought Yushchenko to power as president.