Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, adopted on Wednesday amendments to the law on presidential elections, canceling the two-thirds quorum required for electoral commissions' decisions to be legal.
Electoral commissions are formed on a parity basis between the
opposition Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovych and the bloc of
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Previously, electoral commission sessions were ruled legal only if two-thirds of their members were present.
The Party of Regions was pushing for the quorum to be canceled, saying Tymoshenko's bloc could frustrate the second round by requesting its representatives not to attend electoral commission sessions.
But Tymoshenko's bloc said the cancelation could result in ballot falsifications as the presence of representatives of only one political force would be allowed.
President Viktor Yushchenko is yet to sign the amendments approved by 233 MPs of the 226 needed.
Presidential representative in parliament Ihor Popov told journalists he did not know yet whether the president will sign the amendments as they "have pluses and minuses." He said the president is likely to decide on the issue Thursday.Even if Yushchenko signs the amendments, they will not come into force until published in government newspapers, which could fail to happen in the period remaining until February 7.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko called on President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday to veto amendments to the presidential election law.
"I address the Ukrainian president... If he feels he is responsible for democracy to continue developing in our state, this law [on amendments] should be vetoed," Tymoshenko said in a statement posted on her website.
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