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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 23:55 GMT 00:55 UK
Ukraine head promises reform move
President Viktor Yushchenko during the TV interview
Mr Yushchenko was swept to power during the Orange Revolution
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has pledged to implement a political reform that will devolve much of his powers to the prime minister and MPs.

In a national TV interview, Mr Yushchenko also said the country's new government would achieve economic stability "within two to three months".

Ukraine has seen a sharp decline in economic growth since Mr Yushchenko took power in January.

Last month, he sacked Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister and her cabinet.

Ms Tymoshenko was a key figure alongside Mr Yushchenko in the so-called Orange Revolution that brought him to power after the disputed elections in December.

'Pragmatic government'

"My position is simple and logical: political reform must take place," Mr Yushchenko said in the interview aired on Ukraine's four major TV channels.

"I gave my word that I would do nothing destructive to the constitutional initiative adopted by parliament, so none of Ukraine's 48 million citizens can say Yushchenko is defending his powers."

The president was referring to the constitutional changes approved late last year in a compromise move during the controversial presidential elections.

The changes are due to come into effect in January, ahead of key parliamentary elections in March.

He also described the new government of Yuri Yekhanurov as a "pragmatic" team that was "not burdened by political promises".

Forecasts for economic growth in 2005 have been recently scaled back to less than 5% from over 6.5% earlier in the year.

The president also said he would try to patch relations with ambitious Ms Tymoshenko, but admitted that it "should be a different relationship".

"If all Yulia Volodymyrivna (Tymoshenko) seeks is power and power alone, it is her choice. I am no partner for her in this," he said.

Mr Yushchenko had earlier said his decision to fire the entire cabinet was forced upon him by the absence of unity and bitter infighting in his former government team.

Ms Tymoshenko blames aides to the president for the "deeply unjust" move and has distanced herself from Mr Yushchenko.



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