Bowing to Ukrainian presidentLeonid Kuchma’s threat to call a referendum, and after Kuchma dropped aprovision that would have allowed him to disband parliament, the Ukrainianlegislature passed a bill that gives the president sweeping new powers,Ukrainian radio reported May 18. The bill passed after Communist deputieswalked out in protest. Kuchma will now be able to introduce economic reformsby decree, name his own cabinet without parliamentary interference, andoverrule local governments. Kuchma had sought these powers since the end of1994.
Kiev Urges Minsk To Be More Independent.