KIEV, Nov. 7 – Ukrainian leaders must meet Thursday to agree on the date for Parliament to hold its first session after election to prevent a major political crisis, Volodymyr Lytvyn, former parliament speaker, said Wednesday.
Lytvyn, whose centrist party won 20 seats at the Sept. 30 snap election, made the call after a special working group had for the second day failed to approve key decisions on the session.
The Regions and Communist parties, whose pro-government alliance is likely to be replaced by the pro-Western coalition, have refused to attend the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Lytvyn group, which sent one lawmaker to the meeting on Tuesday, decided to skip the meeting on Wednesday.
“Political groups are poised for a conflict,” Lytvyn said Wednesday. He said the political leaders, including Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, must meet “to avoid a further conflict scenario.”
Parliament is now facing a delay of its first session following the Sept. 30 election as Yanukovych’s Regions Party has been refusing to register its lawmakers at the Central Election Committee.
The meeting is needed to approve organizational basics, such as to approve an interim chairman and the date for the first session of Parliament.
The meeting needs a quorum of 16 lawmakers proportionally representing Parliament’s all groups, but only 15 lawmakers - from the Tymoshenko group and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense - had attended the meeting on Wednesday.
With the Lytvyn group, which is authorized to send one lawmaker, the meeting would have the quorum. Lytvyn, however, refused to send the lawmaker amid fears that confrontation between Tymoshenko and Yanukovych would escalate, instead urging for a compromise between the two.
The Ukrainian law stipulates that the first session of Parliament must be held no later than two months after the election, which sets the deadline at Nov. 26.
Tymoshenko, whose group jointly with Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense will control a slim majority of 228 seats, said Wednesday that her party will work hard to make sure that Parliament holds the session on Nov. 20.
“I think people have been waiting for too long for [new] legislation,” Tymoshenko said.
However, the Regions Party, which will control 175 seats, said the session should take place Nov. 25. Viacheslav Chornovil, a spokesman for the Regions Party, rejected speculations that the party may skip registration and thus automatically making the next Parliament incapable.
“Let me calm down everybody,” Chornovil said. “All lawmakers elected on the ticket of the Regions Party will get their registration certificates this week.” (nr/ez)