Ukraine: The Shifting Political Landscape

SEVERAL MONTHS OF STRUGGLE AND heated debate in Ukraine brought compromise during the first week of June, when President Leonid Kuchma and the parliament resolved a deadlock over a law on separation of powers. The so-called constitutional agreement, which would give the president greater executive powers over political and economic reforms, was signed only after the president threatened a legally non-binding plebiscite on confidence in himself and the parliament. Before the parliament approved the agreement – an important victory for the president – Kuchma told deputies that there was little choice: “Either we work together, or I turn to the people in a national referendum.”