Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma and the parliament’s socialist chairman Oleksandr Moroz yesterday advanced conflicting interpretations of the validity of the existing constitutional agreement. Moroz initiated the controversy by telling the parliament yesterday that the constitutional agreement has expired as of June 8, and that Ukraine’s 1978 Constitution with its post-Soviet amendments is now again in effect. In another speech yesterday, Moroz attacked the government’s economic reform program for allegedly impoverishing the country "under orders" from international financial institutions and Western countries. Kuchma replied within hours that the constitutional agreement is not time-limited and remains in effect until the adoption of a new constitution. He pledged to continue economic reforms. (Interfax-Ukraine, June 11)
The constitutional agreement was concluded June 8, 1995 by the presidency and the parliament. It defines the two branches’ respective powers pending the adoption of a new constitution which is meant to replace the heavily-amended Soviet-era document. Moroz and a substantial leftist minority in parliament oppose the constitutional draft approved by Kuchma and supported by pro-reform groups.
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