The Ukrainian parliament has approved a series of reforms, which could help the country resolve its election crisis. The changes will reduce the power of the president in favour of the parliament, give more influence to regional governments, and modify the electoral code to prevent fraud. The vote is being seen as a personal victory for outgoing president Leonid Kuchma, who struck the compromise deal.
The opposition wanted the changes before the re-run of the election on December 26. Last week Ukraine’s Supreme Court annulled the result of the November ballot, which gave Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich victory. The reforms mean Ukrainians will have to show their passports when they vote, and only those who are bedridden can use absentee ballots.
Demonstrators in Kiev believe their candidate, Victor Yushchenko, will win in a clean election. Many have vowed to continue camping out in the capital until the New Year if necessary.