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    Ukraine president blames conflict on prime minister

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    Ukraine's president confirmed Thursday that there is a growing conflict between the president and the prime minister in the country, and he blamed the situation on the prime minister.

    KIEV, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's president confirmed Thursday that there is a growing conflict between the president and the prime minister in the country, and he blamed the situation on the prime minister.

    The Western-leaning president has been locked in a power struggle with the governing coalition, led by pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, since the premier's appointment in August.

    "I agree that relations between the president and premier are becoming more and more strained on a number of issues," Viktor Yushchenko told a news conference. "I want to stress that I am not the author of these conflicts."

    As of January 1, 2006, Ukraine shifted from a presidential-parliamentary to a parliamentary-presidential form of governance, after amendments adopted by the Supreme Rada in December 2004 entered into force. As a result, some presidential powers were transferred to the country's parliament and Cabinet.

    In late November, Yushchenko said the Constitution needed improving.

    "I am convinced that the president's powers should be enhanced. They demand a greater balance, especially in relations with the government," he told three leading Ukrainian television channels.

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