Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders have signed a deal for an early presidential poll before the end of the year. The election is part of an agreement to end the country’s political crisis.
The deal demands a national unity government, electoral reform and constitutional changes to reduce the president’s power. The compromise resulted from hours of talks, mediated by three European Union foreign ministers.
The agreement was later signed by President Yanukovych and opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnibok at the presidential administration headquarters in Kiev.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski tweeted that the deal was a “good compromise for Ukraine” which would open the way “to reform and to Europe”.
The German foreign ministry stated that the agreement includes:
- The 2004 constitution will be restored within 48 hours, and a national unity government will be formed within 10 days
- Constitutional reform balancing the powers of president, government and parliament will be started immediately and completed by September
- A presidential election will be held after the new constitution is adopted but no later than December 2014 and new electoral laws will be passed
- An investigation into recent acts of violence will be conducted under joint monitoring from the authorities, the opposition and the Council of Europe
- The authorities will not impose a state of emergency and both the authorities and the opposition will refrain from the use of violence
- Illegal weapons will be handed over to interior ministry bodies
Despite the agreement, isolated outbursts of violence were reported in central Kiev on Friday morning. The health ministry said 77 people had been killed since Tuesday, one of the bloodiest days during the riot and another 577 were injured. But activists believe the death toll is likely to be higher.
This news comes as a sigh of relief for the world, as it was recently reported that Ukraine was well on its way to a Civil War.