KIEV, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk urged lawmakers Tuesday to amend the country's constitution to grant more power to local governments in a bid to ease tensions in eastern regions.
"The excessive powers of the central government should be abolished, and a significant part of the political, economic, financial, social and human authorities must be transferred to the local communities," Yatsenyuk told the parliament.
Yatsenyuk has called on all political parties to approve the constitutional amendments before the presidential election is held on May 25.
Constitutional reform on decentralization is one of the key demands of pro-Russian protesters, who seized government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities.
To meet the demands of the protesters, Kiev is considering holding a national referendum on more autonomy to eastern regions.
Tensions continue to rise in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia militants are engaged in conflicts with government troops and have detained military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Pro-Moscow demonstrators have staged protests in eastern Ukraine since early April, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.