KIEV — Ukraine’s Constitutional Court yesterday shifted key powers from parliament to the presidency, a move that boosted the influence of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, but also threw the country into legal uncertainty.
The court invalidated a controversial political reform passed at the height of the 2004 Orange Revolution protests. Those amendments significantly strengthened the legislature and weakened the president’s powers.
The court ruled that those changes were unconstitutional and returned to the president the power to name the prime minister and other officials.
The decision was a victory for Yanukovych, who already has the support of the governing coalition and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, his longtime ally.
He praised the ruling and vowed to comply with it. “As the guarantor of the constitution, I will implement this decision,’’ Yanukovych said in a statement posted on his website.
But the legal consequences of the ruling were unclear.
Some observers said the decision raises questions about the legitimacy of the current president and parliament and that new elections must be called.
Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko called for immediate presidential and parliamentary elections.
“This day will go down in the history of Ukraine as the day of killing of democracy and formation of dictatorship,’’ the former prime minister said. She lost the presidential election to Yanukovych.