Poroshenko: Constitutional Changes will exclude 'Special Status' for Regions

Decentralization and constitutional changes will exclude the adoption of laws on “special status” for any of the regions as stated by the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, at a meeting of the Association of Towns of Ukraine in Kiev.

"Decentralization and constitutional change, on the contrary, discourages attempts to create laws granting "special status" for any city, region or territory," Poroshenko said.

According to the President, the forces that are trying to stop the process of decentralization incorrectly indicate that the new law creates legal ways to initiate federalization.

"I have some very 'bad' news: there is no threat of federalization, no threat to the state by making a constitutional change. So don't deceive people," Poroshenko said, expressing confidence that Parliament will get the required 300 votes to amend the Constitution in terms of decentralization.

On August 31, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada approved the President’s bill proposing amendments to the Constitution regarding decentralization as well as the establishment of laws regarding local governance in the now occupied parts of the Donbas region as required by the Minsk Agreements.  The work of the second session of the Verkhovna Rada ended on September 1, 2015. The third session of the Verkhovna Rada, which is currently ongoing, will end in January.

Members of the Radical Party and Samopomich, as well as other MP’s, have spoken out in criticism of decentralization as proposed by the President. There are predictions that the adoption of the bill will fail, falling short of the necessary 300 votes simply because of the ‘Donbas issue.’

Poroshenko has repeatedly stated that the amendment to the Constitution does not include any "special status" for the Donbas region.

  Donbas, Ukraine, Poroshenko, Constitution