The Ukraine Constitutional Court on Friday approved the holding of parliamentary elections in 2012, instead of in 2011, giving a boost to President Viktor Yanukovych, who has criticized the division of power between parliament and the president, RIA Novosti reported.

The court's decision meant that amendments that came into force in the summer of 2006 were no longer valid. As a result, it was unclear when the next parliamentary elections were due to take place. The opposition, led by former premier, Yulia Tymoshenko, has urged the holding of parliamentary elections in 2011, in adherence to the 1996 constitution.

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

The incumbent members of the Supreme Rada were elected according to the rules of the 2004 constitution, and their term expires in 2012.

The court's decision followed a petition by 252 Ukrainian lawmakers, in which they demanded the annulment of the 2004 constitutional, which were approved in 2004 by President Leonid Kuchma and transformed the country into a parliamentary-presidential republic.


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