Verkhovna Rada defers elections to 2012
The Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday made amendments to the Constitution setting the dates of the next presidential and parliamentary elections. 310 Deputies voted for the amendments (with a constitutional majority of 300 needed), while 15 voted against. This included 180 Deputies from the Party of the Regions; 7 from BYuT; 41 from Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence; 25 from the Communist Party; 20 from Lytvyn’s Bloc and 37 officially not in a faction.
This means that the next parliamentary elections will take place in October 2012 and the presidential in March 2015.
The amendments impose a five-year term in office for President, Verkhovna Rada, Crimean Parliament, deputies of local councils at all levels, as well as village, settlement and city mayors.
According to the recently reinstated 1996 Constitution, the parliamentary elections should have taken place on 27 March 2011.
On 1 October 2010, despite a previous refusal to consider a similar submission 18 months earlier, the Constitutional Court found unconstitutional the constitutional amendments of 2004 and reinstated the 1996 Constitution. The latter had 4 year terms for both parliament and President, this having been extended in the 2004 version.
New information from Ukrainska Pravda