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Ukraine moves towards political clash
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, July 24 – Ukraine has been moving towards a major political clash on Monday after the pro-Russian coalition in Parliament warned it would not obey President Viktor Yushchenko’s likely decision to dismiss the legislature.

Oleksandr Moroz, Parliament’s speaker and the leader of the Socialist Party, the coalition’s partner, in a televised address to the nation late Monday warned Yushchenko against the plans to dismiss the legislature.

“Even if to assume that the illegal decree has been issued, Parliament would not obey this lawlessness,” Moroz said. “We are ready to defend democratic rights and freedoms by all legal and constitutional means.”

Yushchenko has been considering the dismissal of Parliament as a way out of political crisis as political parties have failed to form a viable government since the general election four months ago.

But the pro-Russian coalition, which was formed two weeks ago and includes the Regions Party, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, has been vehemently opposing the idea of the dismissal.

Socialists and Communists would probably be eliminated from Parliament at the early election as voters would punish them for their unexpected alliance with the Regions Party, two recent opinion polls have suggested.

Moroz warned of street clashes similar to those that had occurred in Russia in 1993 when hundreds of people had been killed after then-President Boris Yeltsin had used tanks to suppress the defying pro-Communist Parliament.

“The dissolution of Parliament would provoke a civil conflict,” Moroz said. “This would be an unjustified tragedy that someone would bear responsibility for.”

Earlier on Monday, Parliament, led by the pro-Russian coalition, approved a resolution instructing lawmakers to get together for an emergency session immediately should the president move to dissolve the legislature.

The developments sharply escalate confrontation between the pro-Western president and the pro-Russian coalition, which seeks to form the government that may turn Ukraine’s foreign policy around.

The confrontation could trigger a full-scale constitutional crisis and is especially dangerous as the Constitutional Court, the only authority that could resolve the dispute, has been out of operation for nine months.

The Socialist Party and the Regions Party have been blocking the appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court amid fears that Yushchenko could use the court to cancel controversial constitutional amendments.

Moroz read the address on the state-owned television channel UT-1 hours before the midnight of July 25 when Yushchenko obtains the power to dismiss the legislature. The constitution allows the president to disband Parliament 60 days after the government has resigned and if a new government hasn’t yet been formed.

The government of Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov officially resigned on May 25, while no new government had been formed so far, de-facto allowing Yushchenko to dismiss the legislature and call new election. (tl/ez)




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