Accessibility links

Breaking News

Poroshenko Unveils Constitutional Changes

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has proposed changes to the country's constitution to give broader power's to Ukraine's regions.

President Petro Poroshenko has proposed constitutional changes designed to give broader powers to Ukraine’s regions.

The draft, due to be submitted to parliament later on July 1, would trim presidential power over the provinces and extend to local towns and councils the right to oversee how their tax revenues are spent.

But it refuses to add to the state's basic law the semi-autonomous status demanded by pro-Russian rebels who control parts of the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

It only makes reference to an existing piece of legislation that gives the separatists partial self-rule for an interim period of three years.

In a televised address, Poroshenko argued the changes would hand the regions "a vast amount of rights and financial resources that today are overseen by the president and the government."

"Decentralization will be our civilized distinction from our neighbors in the Soviet camp," he added in apparent reference to Russia and Belarus.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and TASS