The Ukrainian parliament yesterday rejected President Leonid Kuchma’s proposal to place the National Guard under the command of the president in his capacity as commander in chief of the armed forces, which would have given him the right to appoint the Guard’s commander. The parliament resolved to work out a new law on the National Guard after many deputies called for giving parliament substantial control over the force. (Interfax-Ukraine, Western agencies, March 25)
The National Guard, a force analogous to a gendarmerie, was created in 1991 on the parliament’s initiative and was subordinated to the parliament. In October 1995 Kuchma decreed that the Guard be subordinated to the president, but the parliament vetoed the decree. The issue forms part of the broader competition over constitutional prerogatives between the president and the parliament. The two branches are currently engaged in a dispute over the definition of their respective powers in the draft constitution.
Azerbaijan Auctioning Off Gasoline Stations.