In a widely-predicted move, Ukraine has once more become a presidential republic, led by Viktor Yanukovych.
Legislation introduced during the Orange Revolution in 2004, which curbed the president’s powers in favour of parliament, has been reversed.
The reform had given parliament the right to name the Prime Minister and most of the cabinet.
Pro-Yanukovych politicians had argued it was illegal, as it had not been approved by the constitutional court.
Not everyone is happy:
“They were all elected under the terms of this constitution, which has just been invalidated, so logically the president and the cabinet should now resign. Ukraine’s parliament should be dissolved and there should be an early election.” said opposition deputy Sergiy Vlasenko.
The decision marks a watershed in the steady consolidation of authority by the staunchly pro-Russian Yanukovych.
Four judges recently appointed to Ukraine’s constitutional court are seen as his supporters and are believed to have tipped the balance in his favour.