21 February 2014, 18:54

Ukraine: Yanukovych signs deal on ending crisis, Rada reinstates 2004 Constitution

Ukraine: Yanukovych signs deal on ending crisis, Rada reinstates 2004 Constitution

Ukraine's parliament on Friday voted heavily in favour of returning to the constitution of 2004 under which President Viktor Yanukovich will lose some of his powers. The move also gives lawmakers the right to appoint key ministers. The constitutional change was supported by 386 deputies in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada.

Ukrainian Rada also has voted in favor of amnesty for all protesters and passed a ban on prosecution, punishment of protesters.

The move was part of an EU-brokered agreement signed between Yanukovych and opposition leaders to end a crisis which has sparked mass street protests and violence in the capital Kiev.

The following is the text of the agreement signed by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders in the presence of EU envoys to end the ex-Soviet country's three-month crisis.

1. Within 48 hours of the signing of this agreement, a special law will be adopted, signed and promulgated, which will restore the Constitution of 2004 including amendments passed until now. Signatories declare their intention to create a coalition and form a national unity government within 10 days thereafter.

2. Constitutional reform, balancing the powers of the President, the government and parliament, will start immediately and be completed in September 2014.

3. Presidential elections will be held as soon as the new Constitution is adopted but no later than December 2014. New electoral laws will be passed and a new Central Election Commission will be formed on the basis of proportionality and in accordance with the OSCE & Venice commission rules.

4. Investigation into recent acts of violence will be conducted under joint monitoring from the authorities, the opposition and the Council of Europe.

5. The authorities will not impose a state of emergency. The authorities and the opposition will refrain from the use of violence.

The Parliament will adopt the 3rd amnesty, covering the same range of illegal actions as the 17th February 2014 law. Both parties will undertake serious efforts for the normalisation of life in the cities and villages by withdrawing from administrative and public buildings and unblocking streets, city parks and squares. Illegal weapons should be handed over to the Ministry of Interior bodies within 24 hours of the special law, referred to in point 1 hereof, coming into force. After the aforementioned period, all cases of illegal carrying and storage of weapons will fall under the law of Ukraine. The forces of authorities and of the opposition will step back from confrontational posture. The Government will use law enforcement forces exclusively for the physical protection of public buildings.

6. The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Poland and the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation call for an immediate end to all violence and confrontation.

Ukraine's Yanukovych, opposition sign agreement aimed at ending months of political crisis

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday signed an agreement with three opposition leaders to end a crisis that sparked violent clashes between protesters and police on the streets of the capital Kiev.

The agreement followed an announcement by Yanukovych to hold early elections, to form a national unity government and relinquish some of his presidential powers. The agreement was witnessed by two European Union foreign ministers who brokered the deal.

Ukraine: Maidan approves agreement between between Yanukovych, opposition

The Maidan council has approved the signing of an agreement between the authorities and opposition, provided the new government does not include current Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko and Viktor Pshonka is no longer Prosecutor General, Svoboda Party leader Oleh Tiahnybok said.

"The session of the Maidan Council is over. It was decided to approve the decision on the need to sign the agreement but on the condition that we do not see Interior Minister Zakharchenko in the next government and will not see Pshonka as Prosecutor General in the near future," he told reporters in Kiev on Friday. The agreement has yet to be signed, Tiahnybok said.

Ukrainian opposition to sign deal with Yanukovych – Klitschko

Ukrainian opposition will sign the deal with President Victor Yanukovych, said opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko. More talks with protester needed, he added.

Ukraine's Yanukovych announces return to 2004 Constitution and early presidential elections

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has announced that, to settle the crisis in Ukraine, he will initiate the reinstatement of the 2004 constitution and call early presidential elections. He also called for starting the procedure of forming a government of national confidence. "I am announcing steps that need to be made in order to restore peace and avoid more victims of the standoff," Yanukovych said in a statement available on the presidential website on Friday.

"These tragic days when Ukraine has taken the gravest losses and when people has died my duty is to state that human lives are very important. We should do our best to take joint steps to restore peace in Ukraine," Yanukovych said.

"I declare the steps that should be taken to restore calm and avoid new victims," the Ukrainian president said.

"I state that I initiate early presidential elections and return the 2004 Constitution by redistributing powers from the president to the parliament," Yanukovych said.

The president called "for starting a procedure of forming a government of national trust".

"As president of Ukraine and guarantor of the Constitution I do my duty before the people, Ukraine and God to preserve the state, people’s lives and for the sake of peace and calm on our land," Yanukovych said.

The Party of Regions faction in the Ukrainian parliament has hailed President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to call the early presidential election, to restore the 2004 Constitution and to create a government of national unity, a parliamentarian from the faction, Vladimir Oleynik said.

"We support all decisions made by the president," he said. "This is a compromise-based decision."

Read more:

- Ukraine: Party of Regions urging all opposing parties to lay down arms, sit at negotiating table

- Yanukovych ready for early votes as EU approves sanctions

- New clashes prompt Cabinet, parliament evacuations in Ukraine

- Kiev clashes: Ukranian police issued combat weapons, death toll rises to 50

- Russia won’t break up with Ukraine if gov’t is legitimate – PM Medvedev

Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS, Reuters, RIA, AFP

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