Possible constitution referendum sparks Yatsenyuk-Poroshenko confrontation

16:18, 28 January 2016
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A new conflict has broken out between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk because of the latter's statements regarding the possibility of holding a nationwide referendum on amendments to the Constitution, according to Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.

Photo from UNIAN

A participant in a meeting of the so-called "strategic seven" at the presidential administration on Bankova Street on January 25 told the newspaper that the president did not look pleased with statements by Yatsenyuk and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov that the changes to the Constitution could be made only after a referendum.

Several sources told the publication that Yatsenyuk had coordinated his statement on the Constitution with his closest associates – Avakov and Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko.

At a meeting at Poroshenko's administration, Yatsenyuk was directly asked why he had done so.

"He replied that it was his reaction to preparation by Serhiy Berezenko (MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko) of [the legislation basis for] early parliamentary elections this autumn," one of the participants in the meeting said.

According to Ukrainska Pravda, early elections are disadvantageous to Yatsenyuk's People's Front Party due to the significant decline of the rating, but the Presidential Administration is supposedly working on this version in the event of a political crisis.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Premier Yatsenyuk called for holding a referendum on constitutional amendments in Ukraine. "It is time for Ukrainian people to have their say in the issue of Ukraine's new Constitution in new European Ukraine. No one but the people of Ukraine has the right to determine the Fundamental Law," he said.

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