Ukrayinska Pravda web site, Kiev, in Ukrainian 8 Apr 04
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Apr 08, 2004
KIEV - The Supreme Council [parliament] has rejected a bill on amending the
constitution. The reform bill was supported by 294 out of 300 votes needed
to adopt it.
After the vote, the opposition MPs began singing "Ukraine is still alive"
[the Ukrainian anthem] and chanting "Yushchenko!" [Ukrainian opposition
The coordinator of the [propresidential] parliamentary majority, MP Stepan
Havrysh, described the reform's fiasco as the defeat of the authorities
rather than the victory of the opposition. "It is the fiasco of the wide
democratic coalition project [of the pro-presidential parties]," Havrysh
The permanent representative of the Ukrainian president [Leonid Kuchma] in
parliament, MP Oleksandr Zadorozhniy, declined to comment. Asked what would
come next, he said that "it will get worse still".
Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko speaks during a
parliamentary session in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, April 8, 2004
MP Nestor Shufrych, a representative of the United Social Democratic Party
[whose leader Viktor Medvedchuk is in charge of the presidential
administration] said that "we should draw conclusions as to the stand of
certain MPs from the majority". Shufrych said that some forces from the
majority failed to implement decisions which had been reached by the
He added that some [parliamentary ID] cards failed during the vote. "During
the vote we could see some cards work, but during the vote we did not," [as
published], he added. Shufrych did not rule out that the bill could be put
to vote again after parliament makes a decision to this effect.
[The Ukrainian opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko, called the outcome of
the vote "one of the first victories of the democratic forces in this
parliament", according to Interfax-Ukraine, Kiev, in Russian, 1607 gmt]
[The opposition believes that the proposed reform, coming just months ahead
of the October presidential election which Yushchenko is likely to win, is
aimed at making the presidency irrelevant.]
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