KIEV, May 20 â€“ President Viktor Yushchenkoâ€™s top security body on Friday postponed its crucial meeting for several days to give Ukrainian parties more time to find a compromise for ending severe political crisis.
The National Security and Defense Council, the body that is empowered by the constitution to run the country at the time of a crisis, was expected to meet Friday after the parties had failed to agree on early election.
â€śI suggested to President Yushchenko to call the meeting after the talks produce a final set of proposals,â€ť Ivan Pliushch, the newly appointed secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said. â€śIf the working group needs literally hours to finish its work itâ€™s worth giving them such an opportunity.â€ť
The delay of the meeting is a relief for many political figures, including Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who have feared that the council may act to replace the government.
Yushchenko has been considering calling the meeting after the talks aimed at ending the crisis had failed to produce any agreement over the election during the past three weeks.
Many in the government feared the security council would approve decision to replace the government to make sure the early election takes place before the middle of July. The government has been refusing to finance the election.
The Regions Party, Yanukovychâ€™s group, said Friday it welcomes the decision to postpone the meeting of the security council, according to Vasyl Kyseliov, a senior member of the party.
Ivan Vasiunyk, a deputy chief of staff at the presidential office, said that Yushchenko will probably meet Yanukovych again on Monday to try to reach the compromise. â€śI believe the meeting should take palce Monday,â€ť he said.
Yanukovych and Yushchenko agreed in principle on May 4 that the political crisis may be solved by holding the early election, but the working group had failed over the past three weeks to agree on the election date.
Yushchenko and proâ€”Western opposition groups have been insisting on the election no later than middle of July, while the Regions Party has been favoring the election at the end of October.
The Socialist Party and the Communist Party, two small allies of the Regions Party that have very low public support, have been refusing to accept the election whatsoever.
The talks stumbled on Thursday when the Regions Party had indicated that the early election may be not be an option, developments that had apparently forced Yushchenko to consider calling the security meeting.
Meanwhile, the Regions Party used time over the past week to take over the Constitutional Court by promoting its loyalist, Valeriy Pshenichniy, to the top position.
Pshenychniy was earlier fired by Yushchenko for making biased comments during deliberations over the presidential decree that had dissolved Parliament and called for the early election.
The Constitutional Court, which is now totally controlled by the pro-Russian coalition, has pledged to rule Monday on the legality of Yushchenkoâ€™s decree. The ruling is expected to reject Yushchenkoâ€™s decree, but the presidential office had already indicated it would not recognize the ruling. (tl/ez)