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Coalition seeks to avoid early election
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, April 23 – The pro-Russian coalition seeks to avoid early election, but is apparently ready to accept other conditions that had been recently suggested by President Viktor Yushchenko as a way out of political crisis.

Parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Moroz said Monday that a plan to settle the crisis must be based on the ruling by the Constitutional Court. The court deliberates over legality of Yushchenko’s April 2 decree to dismiss Parliament.

If the court rejects the decree, as is widely expected across political spectrum, the coalition would promise to approve a number of bills that had been suggested by the president, Moroz said, adding that the election will not take place.

But the early election is the key part of Yushchenko’s last week’s plan to settle the crisis that also includes approval of bills and measures making such election possible.

The plans suggested by Moroz and Yushchenko show the parties have made little progress while trying to find the way out of crisis. Yushchenko met Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych earlier on Monday for one-on-one meeting, but again no progress had been reported.

The lack of progress comes as the Constitutional Court has been making unusually swift progress to announce the ruling that would probably be against the president, according to coalition and opposition leaders.

The opposition refused to accept the ruling by the court amid concerns that at least one of its 18 judges is under investigation for accepting a $12 million bribe.

A close relative of Susanna Stanik, a key judge that reports on the case during the deliberations, was accused of accepting property, real estate and land plots in Kiev, Lviv and Yalta as gift over the past two years.

The allegations, backed by evidence from SBU, the security service, have been submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office last week, according to SBU acting chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko.

Ruslan Kniazevych, an opposition lawmaker, said the court will probably announce the ruling on Friday, and added the ruling will probably not reflect the law. “This is just another show in the theater of the absurd,” Kniazevych told a 3,000 crowd of supporters in Kiev.

At least 12 judges out of 18 have supported the speedy deliberations, suggesting that these judges may actually support the coalition in its stand-off with the president, analysts said.

Both opposition and government officials expect that the Constitutional Court would rule against the president. Moroz said the ruling should define the way how to settle the crisis.
If the ruling stipulates that Yushchenko’s decree is in line with the constitution, parties should agree to hold early election in the summer or fall of this year, Moroz said.

“If the ruling is negative [for Yushchenko], Parliament would have to prepare a number of drafts that will have to be approved during May,” Moroz said.

Moroz’s position is apparently backed by other coalition partners.

“The compromise may only be achieved with the consideration of the Constitutional Court ruling,” Raisa Bohatyriova, the leader of the Regions Party group in Parliament. “We’re not going to talk about the early election.” (tl/ez)




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