President wants to revise constitution

10:12, 29 June 2006
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The revision is “still on our agenda"

At a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the Ukrainian Constitution, Victor Yushchenko said its revision was “still on our agenda” but added that it should be revised and reviewed to benefit Ukrainians, not politicians or political institutions, according to the President’s press-office.

The President said the country faced “several constitutional problems, which were not resolved in 1996, as well as those which appeared due to recent constitutional changes.” He characterized the system of cooperation and responsibilities in the President-Parliament-Cabinet triangle as “unbalanced and fraught with potential political conflicts.” Mr. Yushchenko added that law enforcement agencies in Ukraine “still function like the Soviet repressive and penitentiary system because they have not been reformed in accordance with European standards yet.”

The Head of State then said many rights and guarantees in our country worked “virtually” and were “mere declarations.” Ukraine has not been able to convene the Constitutional Court for several months and also has not introduced effective self-government and administrative reform, he admitted.

“I am convinced it is impossible to resolve these problems without a new vision and new philosophic approaches,” he stated.

The President then promised his critics not to “usurp power,” saying he would observe the law. He reiterated that experts should discuss ways to further improve the Constitution.

“We should first create an atmosphere of public trust and concord and then try to revise the Constitution without political speculations and tension,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko urged the majority and opposition to respect the law and “not to vote in a way allowing our opponents to question the legitimacy of Ukraine’s future speaker and prime minister.”

“I urge you to invent a model of harmony between government and opposition helping each side find its sphere of responsibility and control for the sake of Ukraine’s future and prosperity, for the sake of the country that should eventually reunite,” he said.

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