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Ukraine's Yushchenko Calls for Constitutional Revisions


Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is calling for revisions of the country's constitution aimed at resolving disputes over the powers of the various branches of government

The Ukrainian leader said he will convene the national constitutional council to begin the process. He said the revisions will be presented to citizens for approval in a nationwide referendum. Mr. Yushchenko made his comments to a gathering outside Kyiv's Saint Sofia Cathedral marking the 16th anniversary of Ukraine's declaration of independence from the former Soviet Union.

Parliament three years ago adopted legislation transferring significant powers from the president to the prime minister. This led to stalemate between Mr. Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

The two sides have agreed to hold parliamentary elections September 30 in efforts to resolve the impasse.

The reformist president and the prime minister, who favors closer ties with Russia, have been at odds since facing each other in the controversial 2004 presidential election.

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