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Ukrainian Lawmakers Fail to Agree on Electoral Reforms - 2004-12-07


Ukrainian lawmakers have failed to agree on reforms ahead of this month's court-ordered repeat of November's presidential election run-off.

Parliament is to resume debate Wednesday on the proposed electoral and constitutional changes, which include measures to prevent fraud during the vote December 26th.

Ukraine's Supreme Court threw out the results of the November presidential run-off between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko after the opposition claimed widespread fraud.

Earlier, Mr. Yushchenko and the government of outgoing President Leonid Kuchma failed to agree on constitutional changes to eliminate some presidential powers. Mr. Kuchma rejected opposition demands to dismiss the Yanukovych government, but he did agree to fire the central election commission and to support new anti-fraud election legislation.

Also on Tuesday, Mr. Kuchma approved a leave of absence for Mr. Yanukovych to allow him to campaign, and the president named First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov as temporary prime minister.

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