KUCHMA PRAISES NEW CONSTITUTION.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 130
Ukraine’s president Leonid Kuchma was jubilant yesterday, saying the adoption of Ukraine’s first post-Soviet constitution means that Ukraine is now "a predictable country." (Interfax-Ukraine, July 1) The adoption of the constitution by parliament on 28 June, after a mammoth all-night session, marked the culmination of a five-year drafting process and of a struggle between president and leftist-dominated parliament that has been underway ever since Kuchma was elected two years ago. It was a cliffhanger to the end, with Kuchma finally forcing parliament to adopt the constitution by threatening to call a potentially divisive nationwide referendum that he was likely, but not certain, to win. Parliament gave in only when Kuchma said that the draft he would put to the nation would be the one submitted by the now defunct constitutional commission in March of this year, which provided for strong presidential rule and a weak parliament, and that all the amendments parliament had painstakingly agreed since then would be ignored.
Constitution Hailed by (Almost) Everyone.