17:08 02.06.2009

Yuschenko considers secret talks on constitutional amendments as anti-constitutional coup, says Vannykova

Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has said the secrecy surrounding alleged talks on constitutional amendments constitutes an anti-constitutional coup d'Etat, Presidential Press Secretary Iryna Vannykova said in Kyiv on Tuesday.

"The secrecy of talks on [amending Constitution to stipulate] electing the president in parliament... can be classified by political experts as anti-constitutional coup," she said.

She said the head of state has warned that he will not allow the splitting of the country.

The president believes that changing the state's form of government should only be approved at a national referendum.

Ukrainian society is waiting for a future parliamentary majority to announce its principles and goals, the press secretary said.

Vannykova said that Yuschenko welcomes the unification of any political forces to combat the crisis, but the process of the formation of a coalition should be transparent and be in compliance with Ukrainian law.

She said the parties in the talks on the formation of a broad coalition are currently viewing the majority as a mechanism for the "shadowy reform of the constitution followed by the usurpation of power."

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