Ukraine president calls early elections

The president of Ukraine has dissolved parliament and called new elections to be held on May 27.

Ukraine president calls early elections

The president of Ukraine has dissolved parliamentand called new elections to be held on May 27.

Viktor Yushchenko announced his decision live on televisionon Monday after seven hours of crisis talks failed to end a political conflictwith the opposition parliamentary majority.

Yushchenko said it had been his "duty" to dissolvethe assembly because of actions he said had violated the constitution.

The president had earlier arranged a meeting with parliamentary leadersafter accusing Viktor Yanukovich, the prime minister and his chief rival, ofattempting to expand the parliamentary majority by illegally recruiting MP'sloyal to him.

The Interfax news agency quoted a source in the Kremlin as saying Yushchenkohad asked Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to postpone talks between thetwo men scheduled for Tuesday in Moscow.

Power eroded

Yushchenko swept to power on the back of the "Orange Revolution" in2004, a popular movement that rejected Russian interference in Ukranianpolitics.

But since the victory Yushchenko has seen his power-base eroded byYanukovich, the man he defeated in 2004 and who he was forced to appoint asprime minister in August.

At the beginning of Moday's talks he threatened to dissolve parliament andcall an election unless the coalition abandoned its"anti-constitutional" actions of persuading individual oppositionmembers to join its ranks.

"In essence, the country is in the grip of a constitutionalimbalance," Yushchenko told participants as the talks opened.

Yushchenko's dissolution of parliament will please the tens of thousands ofprotesters who rallied in Kievat the weekend to back calls by opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, a formerprime minister, for the president to go.

Hundreds of protesters backing the prime minister have set up a camp in apark outside parliament.

Tymoshenko was fired as Yushchenko's first prime minister within eightmonths after her government split into competing factions.

She and other opposition leaders say new elections are needed as theexpanded coalition no longer reflects how people voted in theprevious election held last year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16