KIEV: The Ukrainian Parliament is set to debate constitutional amendments on Wednesday to curb the powers of the country’s President Viktor Yanukovych aimed at overcoming the two-month political stalemate between the government and the opposition.
The opposition wants to return to the 2004 constitution, which shifts authority from the president to the legislature. It also wants unconditional amnesty for those detained in anti-government protests across the Eastern European country.
The Ukrainian government has already granted his opponents a series of concessions including an amnesty for jailed demonstrators, except for those who were suspected of committing major crimes, and cancelling a series of anti-protest laws.
In addition, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and the entire cabinet have resigned. On the other hand, the president is also considering calling early presidential elections in the country in a bid to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.
Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests after Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on November 29 last year in favor of closer ties with Russia.
Kiev refused to sign the agreement after the EU leaders called on Ukraine to allow jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to travel overseas for medical treatment.
Later, Ukraine and Russia reached a strategic economic and trade deal in December, which provides Ukraine with significant discounts on imported Russian gas and billions of dollars in credit.