Monday, April 6, 2009

President meets students of Taras Shevchenko National University

President Victor Yushchenko met today with students and lecturers of Taras Shevchenko National University.

Telling those present about the draft altered Constitution, he had submitted to the parliament, President Yushchenko said that its aim was to provide better protection of citizens’ interests and rights.

The President emphasized that the new Constitution fixes the norm that any alterations or amendments to the Basic Law may be introduced exclusively through national referendum in order to avoid such lame alteration of the Constitution as in 2004.

He also explained his suggestions on introduction of bicameral parliament in Ukraine, limiting deputy’s immunity, extension of local governments’ authority, etc.

President Yushchenko emphasized that the instrument of “direct democracy” would be expanded as the draft Constitution provides any citizen with the right to submit a draft law to the Verkhovna Rada after having collected one hundred thousand signatures. “Thus, we elevate the status of the Basic Law, expand communities’ rights and providing the nation with exclusive right to alter or amend the Constitution”, - he said.

Answering the question about the possibility of simultaneous early presidential and parliamentary election, President Yushchenko repeated that he is ready to discuss it and approve such a decision under conditions of introducing alterations to electoral legislation and abolition of deputies’ immunity.