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Yushchenko Hints At Constitutional Referendum

Yushchenko promised reforms when he won election (file photo) (AFP) 30 December 2005 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko today suggested he might call for a referendum on constitutional changes that will reduce his powers starting next year.

The changes were agreed at the height of the "Orange Revolution" as part of a deal to win broad agreement on re-staging a rigged presidential election. Yushchenko won the rerun and took office in January.

But during a live television interview today, Yushchenko said the changes now threaten political stability and efficiency. He said the issue of a referendum will be on his agenda, but did not say when.

Under the changes due to go in effect on 1 January, the president is no longer free to nominate the prime minister and other key ministers.

Yushchenko has been increasingly critical of the new arrangements as parliament lacks a stable majority and he has had trouble pushing key reforms through the assembly.

Parliamentary elections are set for March.


The Orange Revolution

The Orange Revolution

An archive of RFE/RL's reporting and analysis on Ukraine's Orange Revolution.

REVOLUTION IN THE AIR: Listen to an audio portrait of the Orange Revolution from RFE/RL's archives.
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