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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RESTARTS BATTLE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM. Lawmaker Oleksandr Moroz and Stepan Havrysh have submitted a draft bill to the Verkhovna Rada proposing that constitutional-reform bill No. 4180 be adopted in its entirety, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported on 13 October. Bill No. 4180, which was approved in the first reading by the Verkhovna Rada in June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 June 2004), proposes transferring a significant part of presidential powers to the parliament and prime minister. The Constitutional Court ruled on 14 October that bill No. 4180 does not contradict the Ukrainian Constitution. To become law, the constitutional-reform bill must be approved by a two-thirds majority (at least 300 votes) in the second reading. "Two leading presidential candidates, Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, as well as their teams are counting on victory in the [31 October presidential] elections," Ukrainian political scientist Volodymyr Polokhalo commented. "It means that it will be difficult to find 300 votes in support of this reform." JM

AILING OUR UKRAINE LEADER CONTINUES PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. Our Ukraine leader and presidential candidate Yushchenko on 13 October held campaign meetings with voters in the cities of Illichivsk and Odesa, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website reported. Yushchenko returned from the Rudolfinerhaus hospital in Vienna on 10 October, following a second round of treatment for a mysterious illness his election staff claims resulted from deliberate poisoning. Yushchenko said at the meetings that he is subject to a 10 hours of rehabilitation a day. Yushchenko also said he does not trust Prosecutor-General Hennadiy Vasilyev, whose office is investigating Yushchenko's alleged poisoning, and announced that he will pass the documentation of his treatment to investigators only upon completion of all tests made at Rudolfinerhaus. According to the website, Yushchenko spoke clearly and without difficulties but his face was visibly swollen. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER'S SUPPORTERS WARN AGAINST 'CHESTNUT REVOLUTION.' The coalition of parties and organizations backing the presidential bid of Prime Minister Yanukovych has issued a statement saying that the opposition is planning to gather half a million supporters of Yushchenko near the Central Election Commission headquarters on the night of 31 October in order to launch a "chestnut revolution" in the event Yuschenko loses the 31 October presidential ballot, Interfax reported. "We address the Ukrainian president with a request to take all possible measures to prevent the implementation of 'chestnut-revolution scenarios' and to ensure law and order during the election process," the statement reads, in an apparent reference to Georgia's Rose Revolution. JM

...AS MEDIATORS CALL FOR QUICK RESUMPTION OF NEGOTIATIONS. Following a meeting held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 11-12 October, the three mediators in the Transdniester conflict (Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE) called for the immediate resumption of negotiations, Flux reported on 13 October. They said in a joint statement that the final settlement should be based on Moldova's territorial integrity and the granting of a special status to Transdniester. The statement says the mediators are concerned about the "perpetuation of the pause" in negotiations and called on the sides to refrain from unilateral acts that might lead to the further deterioration of the situation. They also emphasized their own positive role in finding solutions for concrete problems, such as "that of the [Moldovan] schools" that were closed in Transdniester. MS