KIEV, July 30 – Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Moroz was forced to postpone his plan for the legislature’s emergency session for a week after disagreements emerged between pro-government parties over the upcoming Sept. 30 snap election.
Moroz originally scheduled the emergency session on Tuesday in order to challenge President Viktor Yushchenko on the election. However, he was forced to delay the session to between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10 after the Regions Party suddenly refused to join.
The development shows that Moroz, whose increasingly unpopular Socialist Party may be eliminated from Parliament by the vote, has been desperately trying to torpedo the election.
By holding the emergency session, Moroz is challenging Yushchenko, who has declared that Parliament is not capable of holding any session until after the election on Sept. 30.
But it also underscores a growing split within the Regions Party, Ukraine’s most popular group, part of which is apparently determined to hold the election, while another part seeks to oppose it.
“Some leaders [at the Regions Party] have certain concerns, fears over negative consequences of this election. Moroz seems to count on these fears,” Volodymyr Fesenko, an analyst with Penta consultancy, said.
The split within the Regions Party is apparently caused by a growing rift between Rinat Akhmetov, the wealthiest Ukrainian and de-facto sponsor of the Regions Party, and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, the leader.
Yanukovych apparently fears that he may lose his job as prime minister after the election even if the Regions Party scores most of vote following separate talks between Yushchenko and Akhmetov, analysts said. The talks are apparently aimed at creating a broad coalition government to boost economic reforms in Ukraine after the election, analysts said.
The split within the Regions Party was evident on Monday when its lawmakers flatly ruled out their joining of emergency session. However, the session was postponed for a week after the arrival of Yanukovych and his subsequent meeting with Moroz.
“Unfortunately, there was no Viktor Fedorovyvh [Yanukovych] in Ukraine over the past four days and that’s why there were some frictions, tensions within the Regions Party,” Ivan Bokiy, a senior member of the Socialist Party, said.
Following the meeting, Moroz ordered to hold the emergency session next week, between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10.
He is expected to continue to challenge Yushchenko on the snap election, but also to approve a number of bills, including amendments to the constitution that would further reduce powers of the president. The amendments first need to be approved by a simple majority of 226 lawmakers in the 450-seat Parliament. Afterwards, if the amendments are approved by the Constitutional Court, they have to be approved by at least the so called constitutional majority of 300 lawmakers. (tl/ez)