17:56 16.06.2014

Amendments to Ukraine's Constitution to be tabled in parliament this week - Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that this week he will sign draft amendments to Ukraine's constitution to de-centralize the powers, which he will then table in parliament.

"I think that this week I will sign draft amendments to the Constitution and table them in parliament," he said at a National Security and Defense Council meeting on Monday.

He also expressed hope that the draft Constitutional amendments would be sent to the Venice Commission this week.

"The draft amendments to the Constitution provide a key element of the peace plan, which is the decentralization of power. They are the result of hard work by the Ukrainian government, and the basic concepts were developed and agreed with me," Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko expressed confidence that this way of delegating part of presidential authority to territorial communities would allow them and local councils, which will be elected with new authority and the possibility of formation of executive committees, to assume "the responsibility and directions for the development of the regions."

"I am convinced that the lion's share of problems, starting from what language, including Russian, to use on the territory of a community, will be within the powers of local authorities," he said.

Poroshenko says that in keeping with the draft amendments to the Constitution, "a significant portion of humanitarian affairs, much broader budget-related powers will be corresponded with much increased responsibility of territorial communities."

Earlier, Verkhovna Rada chairman Oleksandr Turchynov said Poroshenko would propose Parliament a bill to amend the Constitution to decentralize power in the current week.

"There was a conversation with the president of our country, Petro Poroshenko, and we agreed that he would initiate this week proposals regarding constitutional reform. It is about the decentralization of power in Ukraine. His legislative initiative will be here," he said on Monday, noting that parliamentary factions will be able to familiarize themselves with the proposed changes in the near future.

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