KIEV, Nov. 25 – President Viktor Yushchenko warned Sunday that he may take unspecified “tough measures” to make sure that Parliament gets down to business quickly following unexpected delays with creation of a government coalition.
Parliament failed to create the coalition on Friday at its first session following the Sept. 30 election, with lawmakers mostly consumed by organizational issues.
The session ended abruptly when Raisa Bohatyriova, a Regions Party member who supervises the work of the legislature until the speaker of Parliament is elected, declared the next session due Nov. 29.
“I am ready to further take tough measures,” Yushchenko said in an interview aired by Studio 1+1 on Sunday. “There is only one aim for these measures: I want to see a working Parliament in Ukraine.”
Yushchenko dismissed Parliament on April 2, and after two months of talks with political parties, scheduled an election on Sept. 30.
Two pro-Western groups, including Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense and the group led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, won a slim majority of 228 seats in the 450-seat Parliament.
Both groups pledged to form a coalition and government quickly, but the process slowed as their rivals contested election results in courts.
Yushchenko met Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense lawmakers Thursday. Following heated discussions, the group decided to stand by its previous decision to nominate Viacheslav Kyrylenko as the speaker of Parliament, while all 72 lawmakers pledged to back the coalition.
Now, as legal obstacles have been removed and lawmakers held their first session on Friday, it has emerged that a group of seven lawmakers from Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense have refused to sign the coalition agreement, insisting on some changes.
Yushchenko said Sunday that Ukraine was still facing political instability and called for political groups to hold talks to create “a constructive coalition” and a “constructive opposition.”
“Ukraine cannot live without an operating Parliament. We will find a way to make sure the democratic institution works,” Yushchenko said.
“People that entered Parliament must provide a clear and complete answer to, first of all, the political stabilization, secondly to form the coalition and thirdly to form the government.” (tl/ez)