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Ukraine parliament votes to return old constitution

Ukraine parliament votes to return old constitution
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Earlier on Friday Ukraine’s parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of a return to the country’s 2004 constitution.

While it means President Yanukovich will lose some power, opposition leaders were insistent the vote was only a first step.

Addressing parliament opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk declared: ‘‘The parliament is about to take a vital decision. It concerns not only the restoration of constitutional order but order in Ukraine. It is a crucial choice which will put an end to the dictatorial powers of President Yanukovich.

‘‘It is the first step, only the first step to bring back justice and equity to our country. It is a long road before peace and stability can return to Ukraine, before rebuilding Ukraine, before bringing all those to justice, and I insist, all those who have given the illegal orders to use torture and to kill.’‘

In addition, Ukraine’s parliament also agreed to amend the country’s criminal code. A move which could pave the way for the release of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

But, measures to bring those responsible to justice for the bloody violence are still being discussed by MPs and will need parliamentary approval first.