Ukraine justice minister predicts 'legal chaos' after no-confidence vote Andrew Wood at 3:19 PM ET
[JURIST] Ukraine Justice Minister Serhiy Holovatyi [official profile] on Tuesday warned that the country was plunging into "legal chaos" [RIA Novosti report] after the Ukrainian Parliament [official website] voted to fire Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov's government in a no-confidence motion [BBC report]. The parliament vote was in response to the government's recent deal with Russia which resulted in Ukraine paying nearly twice as much for gas imports. Holovatyi said that President Viktor Yushchenko [JURIST news archive] no longer has the power to appoint a new prime minister because of changes to the constitution [text] that limit the president's authority [JURIST report]. Under the changes that took effect January 1, the lower chamber of parliament, the Supreme Rada, was given the power to fire and appoint the government, however the bills outlining the appointment procedure have not yet been passed. Meanwhile, Yushchenko called the decision to dismiss the government "unconstitutional" and said that he would not rule out dissolving parliament in connection with the decision. Last month, Yushchenko cautioned that the constitutional changes would lead to an "unbalanced and ineffective government" and suggested that a national referendum should be held to approve the changes [JURIST report]. MosNews has more.
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