Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn has called on lawmakers to immediately draw up amendments to the country's constitution, fixing the dates for next presidential and parliamentary elections.

Ukraine has faced legal bewilderment since the country's Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the 2004 constitutional reform transferring a significant amount of power from the president to parliament was adopted in breach of the constitution.

The court's decision means that the amendments that came into force in summer 2006 are no longer valid, and that the norms of the 1996 Constitution have been restored.

As a result, it is not clear when the next parliamentary elections should take place in Ukraine.

The 1996 Constitution stipulates that the parliament is elected for 4 years, while the current Supreme Rada was elected in 2007 for five years after the amendments had been introduced.

"I propose that we urgently draw up amendments to the Constitution, fixing clearly that the Supreme Rada will be elected in September 2012 and setting the date for Ukrainian presidential [elections], because laws do not have a retroactive effect," Lytvyn said.

He stressed that in line with Ukrainian laws, rulings made by the Constitutional Court cannot be challenged.

"We can change the Constitution, but we cannot change the Constitutional Court's decision," he said.

Yulia Tymoshenko said on Friday that since the old constitution is in force again, early presidential and parliamentary polls should be held in order to prevent political instability in the country.

"There can only be one conclusion: the president, parliament and government should all be re-elected at early presidential and parliamentary elections," she said.

The Ukrainian justice minister, Oleksandr Lavrynovych, argued that there were no grounds to hold early presidential or parliamentary elections.


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