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PM Yatseniuk: Constitution should be amended before presidential elections

11-04-2014 15:24

The first amendments to the Constitution should be made before the presidential elections, they should define the powers of the President and other authorities, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said at a meeting with leadership of the country's south-eastern regions on Friday.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk is on a visit to Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine’s southeast on Friday. He went there for meetings with the heads of regional administrations, city mayors, heads of security structures and representatives of industrial enterprises of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions in order to discuss the situation in the regions, power decentralization and Ukraine's new draft constitution. Meeting with representatives of the Donetsk region he said Ukraine's central administration is ready for dialogue with the regions and is ready to fulfil the lawful demands made by every resident of Ukraine. Yatseniuk pointed out the importance of a constitutional reform, which he said aims to give more powers to the regions. "The institution of regional state administrations should become history," he said. "We want to regulate the powers of the parliament, the president, and the Cabinet of Ministers" in the constitutional reform, Yatseniuk said. He reiterated that "our common task is to balance the powers of the centre and the regions." At the meeting, Yatseniuk said that the first amendments to the Constitution should be made before the presidential elections set for May 25th. "Prior to the presidential elections the country needs to know what powers the President will have," Yatseniuk said. According to the Premier, this also applies to other authorities, including prosecutors. It is also necessary to make changes to the Budget Code to convey not just the powers, but provide their financial replenishment, Yatseniuk believes. Speaking of local referenda, the premier agreed on the need to amend the law on the nationwide referendum so that people could conduct their local surveys within their competence. Yatseniuk also demanded that protesters leave the seized building of Donetsk Regional State Administration and surrender their weapons. As we have reported, on April 6, activists of pro-Russian organizations seized the regional administration in Donetsk and barricaded themselves inside the building.