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Ukrainian President Dislikes Excessive Elections

Leonid Kuchma thinks that one should conduct all elections during one year

On Friday, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma submitted a draft law about amending the Constitution to the parliament. In connection with that event, Kuchma appeared on television with his address to the nation. The address became rather surprising for the majority of people. For example, the viewers of the 1+1 channel were watching a television series - an episode, in which bandits were going to kill an investigator. Then the dramatic scene suddenly changed to "The Television Address of the President of Ukraine."

In his address to the nation, Leonid Kuchma said that it was history, which raised the question of the political reform that he had suggested. The president added that the most convincing argument for that affirmation was the nationwide discussion of the issue. "Even sceptics have to admit at present that there has not been a formal approval," the president said.

The political reform was discussed by "thousands of people, who were not indifferent to the fate of their nation." Kuchma thanked everyone, who took part in the discussion and assured that no suggestion had been ignored. The president also thanked scientists of politics and lawyers, the young generation and sociologists for their work to study the public opinion. Leonid Kuchma stated that he had rejected his most disputable suggestions regarding the parliament of two houses, the reduction of the number of deputies in the Ukrainian parliament from 450 to 300,  and the suggestion about passing laws at referendums. On the other hand, the president insisted upon the idea to elect the president, the parliament and local authorities altogether within one year. Leonid Kuchma also thinks that one should give state officials a five-year term. The Ukrainian president also emphasized that the presidential election was to take place in 2004. In Kuchma's opinion, elections once in five years would be enough: "I do not think that it is normal, when the society constantly moves from one election state to another," the president said. Leonid Kuchma believes that it is very wearisome both from the public and the financial point and view. In addition to it, "one should not make domestic and foreign scientists of politics work too hard."

In other words, the Ukrainian President believes that there will be more stability, if elections were not too often. However, the president did not mention anything about popular support of the idea. The renewed presidential draft law stipulates  the parliament's right to appoint the prime minister and members of the cabinet of ministers. The president will nominate a candidacy for the position of the prime minister on the base of the discussion in the parliament. The cabinet of ministers will have a right to appoint officials at central bodies of the executive power that are not included in the government’s personnel. However, the president will have a right to appoint the interior minister, the foreign minister, the defense minister, fiscal administration chairmen, security service chiefs and border guard commanders.

Leonid Kuchma believes that the president will not be able to fulfil his constitutional privileges without that right. Furthermore, the draft law stipulates the president's right to dissolve the parliament under certain conditions. The Ukrainian president did not say anything about a rather important question in his television address: what should be done if the parliament is dissolved, and one has to conduct all elections simultaneously? Probably, there is an answer to that question in the draft law. One should not forget that there is also the parliamentary draft law of the constitutional reform. Apparently, the variant of the parliament is totally unacceptable for Kuchma.