UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT SENDS TWO REFERENDUM BILLS TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT... The parliament on 11 May voted by 304 to seven with four abstentions to send to the Constitutional Court two draft bills on how the constitution should reflect the results of the 16 April referendum, Interfax reported. The first bill was submitted to the parliament by President Leonid Kuchma, while the second was sponsored by 152 lawmakers primarily from leftist and centrist caucuses. AP quoted a parliamentary spokesman as saying that the lawmakers' bill proposes granting the parliament the right to appoint and dismiss the prime minister and cabinet members. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court is examining the legality of resolutions adopted by the parliamentary majority outside the parliamentary building after the Supreme Council split into two warring factions in January. JM

...ADOPTS LAW ON AMNESTY, AMENDS BUDGET. The same day the parliament passed a law stating that amnesty may be offered to those convicted for "minor crimes," primarily minors, people with children who are minors or disabled, pregnant women, the elderly, and war veterans, Interfax reported. The parliament also amended the 2000 budget to increase revenues from 32.8 billion hryvni to 33.7 billion hryvni ($6.2 billion). The amendments stipulate that an additional 200 million hryvni be directed to local budgets, 195 million hryvni will be used to support the agricultural sector, 35 million hryvni for the shutdown of Chornobyl, 80 million hryvni for restructuring the coal sector, and 195 million hryvni for subsidies to coal mines. JM