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Political analysts: Cancelation of 2004 political reform may deepen split in Ukraine

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Aug. 25, 2010, 12:19 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
The cancelation of the constitutional reform of 2004 could lead to disastrous deepening of a split of Ukraine, Director of Kyiv Center for Political Studies and Conflictology Mykhailo Pohrebinsky has said. "If the presidential system returns [as a result of the cancelation of the constitutional reform of 2004] then this will be a permanent factor of tension, as everyone who gained support from one cultural basis – either from the eastern part, or the western – will be in the right. A step in this direction will lead to a disastrous deepening of the split in Ukraine, up to the issue of Ukraine's existence within its current boundaries," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on August 19.

At the same time, Pohrebinsky said that currently the president has enough power.

"The entire structure of power is under him," he said.

The expert expressed hope that the constitutional reform of 2004 would not be canceled. He said the influence of experts or the opposition would help ensure this.

Director of the Center for Civil Society Research Vitaliy Kulyk, in turn, said that the cancelation of the constitutional reform could take place, but not this year.

"I have doubts that this [the cancelation of the constitutional reform of 2004] will take place this year, but this will happen anyway as there is a tendency for the centralization of power, the reinforcement of the administrative chain [of power] and the fact that the president will want to reign and manage everything," Kulyk said.

As reported, on July 14, 2010, the Constitutional Court received a motion from 252 MPs regarding the constitutionality of law No. 2222-IV of December 8, 2004 amending the Constitution of Ukraine. On July 26, the Constitutional Court opened proceedings on this case, and almost all the judges immediately went on vacation until August 30.

The law of December 8, 2004 foresees a switch from a presidential-parliamentary to parliamentary-presidential form of government, the government's formation by the coalition of parliamentary factions, and the extension of the parliament's term to five years.

The law expanded the powers of the Verkhovna Rada, which gained the right to appoint the prime minister, the defense and foreign ministers under a motion from the president, as well as other government members under a motion from the prime minister.
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