Ukraine court backs boosting President`s powers

The ruling terms changes to the Constitution agreed in 2004 as illegal.

Kiev: Ukraine`s constitutional court on Friday backed strengthening the powers of President Viktor Yanukovych, ruling that changes to the Constitution agreed in 2004 that boosted Parliament were illegal.

The ruling -- prompted by a petition from over 250 pro-Yanukovych MPs in the Ukrainian Parliament -- overturns the 2004 changes in favour of the original version of Ukraine`s 1996 Constitution.

"The court has ruled that the 2004 amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution were unconstitutional due to violations of constitutional procedures in their examination and adoption," said the head of the court Anatoly Golovin.

The 2004 changes gave Parliament the powers to appoint key ministers like the prime minister, defence minister and foreign minister on the recommendation of the president and other ministers on the recommendation of the prime minister.

The amendments also increased the term of Parliament from four years to five.

The Kremlin-friendly Yanukovych, who took power earlier this year after defeating the pro-Western leaders of the Orange Revolution, has been accused by his opponents of seeking to return the country to authoritarianism.

Bureau Report

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