Ukraine faces political crisis

(First Edition)

Ukraine was thrown into a constitutional crisis which threatens to paralyse reforms, after the prime minister resigned and the President tried to take direct charge of government, Reuter reports from Kiev.

Parliament refused to accept Leonid Kuchma's resignation as prime minister, and left him in office, although stripped of extra powers he was given last year to introduce rapid privatisation and reduce a huge budget deficit.

Deputies also rejected President Leonid Kravchuk's attempt to take personal charge of the government, but they compromised by granting him broad powers to issue decrees on economic measures not governed by existing legislation.