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Roundtable suggested to overcome crisis
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, July 26 – Ukraine’s main parties will probably hold roundtable discussions on Thursday to try to resolve an escalating political crisis and to prevent a possible dismissal of Parliament, Viktor Yushchenko said.

Yushchenko, who Tuesday obtained the power to dismiss Parliament, suggested the roundtable to ease the confrontation as three parties had been pushing to form the government that could challenge his pro-Western policy.

“Everything is being done to hold the roundtable,” Yushchenko told reporters on Wednesday. “On my part, everything will be done to make sure the roundtable is held tomorrow.”

The talks are seen as the last chance for the parties to avoid the dismissal of Parliament that may occur next week when Yushchenko is expected to announce his decision over the nomination of the prime minister.

The pro-Russian coalition, which controls 239 seats in the 450-seat Parliament, has been pushing hard for the nomination of Viktor Yanukovych, the leader of the Regions party, as the prime minister.

Yushchenko has been refusing to support the nomination amid concerns that Yanukovych candidacy would divide Ukraine. The president has been calling for nomination of the less divisive figure.

The coalition includes the Regions Party, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party and all are known for supporting pro-Russian policy. Yushchenko has been promoting pro-Western policy, such as quick joining of NATO and the long-term goal of integration into the European Union.

Yushchenko stressed he will make sure that the country’s foreign policy and domestic reforms will stay unchanged no matter which coalition is formed.

“The main thing is to secure nonreversible foreign and domestic course of Ukraine,” Yushchenko said.

Our Ukraine, Yushchenko’s party, has been holding consultations with the Regions Party over creation of a new coalition, which would exclude the Communist Party, a vehemently pro-Russian and anti-market group.

But the Regions party has been refusing to accept these demands.

“The talks have been underway,” Yushchenko said. “There is some progress, but it is not sufficient to remove all questions.”

Yushchenko has been also seeking to maintain control over law enforcement agencies and ministries, including the Internal Affairs Ministry, which is supposed to be decided by the coalition, according to constitution.

The Internal Affairs Ministry controls an army of police officers and other law enforcement officials that apparently exceed the number of officers controlled by the Defense Ministry and the security service. Yushchenko fears if the Internal Affairs Minister is appointed by a political party, it would produce political bias within the important law enforcement agency.

“The appointment of law enforcement officials is out of the discussion because this remains to be the president’s right,” Yushchenko said. (nr/ez)




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