Ukrainian Lawmakers Demand President's Intervention In Political Crisis

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian lawmakers on Friday called on President Viktor Yushchenko to intervene in the political crisis engulfing this ex-Soviet republic, either by dissolving parliament and calling new elections or by working with the new pro-Russian parliamentary majority.

Oleksandr Turchynov

"Make your decision (Yushchenko)," said Oleksandr Turchynov, one of the top pro-Western lawmakers calling for new elections. "It is the entire Ukrainian people who are waiting for your decision."

The new coalition is headed by Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych, and includes the Communists and Socialists. It nominated Yanukovych, whom Yushchenko defeated in 2004 to win the presidency after the Orange Revolution mass protests, to be prime minister.

Yushchenko's party has rebuffed calls to join the coalition, which it has branded as illegitimate.

His party, together with the bloc of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has led noisy disruptions in parliament to interrupt the new coalition's work. Both parties on Friday abandoned noisemaking but refused to enter candidates' names for parliamentary committees, prompting Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Moroz to call a break until Tuesday.

The country has been in political paralysis since March parliamentary elections, in which the Party of Regions won the most seats but fell short of a majority. The inconclusive result underscored the divide between the largely Russian-speaking east, which looks to Moscow, and the nationalist Ukrainian-speaking west.

The squabbling Orange Revolution allies formed a coalition last month after weeks of bargaining, but that agreement collapsed when the Socialist Party switched sides and formed a coalition with the Communists and Party of Regions last week.

Top members of Yushchenko's party have suggested that they would accept some union with Yanukovych's party, but they oppose Yanukovych as premier and the inclusion of the Communists. Yushchenko held talks with Yanukovych, but the negotiations appeared to end in an impasse.

"The only way out of this situation is dialogue in which the president could play the key role, the role of the man who unites the nation, but he is not ready," said Evhen Kushnaryov, a top lawmaker from Yanukovych's party.

The new alliance controls at least 238 seats in the 450-seat parliament, and it has threatened to go ahead with a vote on Yanukovych as prime minister if the president refuses to return the nomination to parliament by July 25, as required by law.

"We consider that the head of state should set aside his personal feelings of sympathy or aversion and do everything that he can to complete the formation of a professional and capable government," the Party of Regions said in a statement. Meanwhile, supporters of Yanukovych and Tymoshenko – who would have returned to the prime minister's job under the Orange coalition - maintained tent camp vigils outside parliament, chanting the names of their leaders.

Vasyl Kodru, who said he supported neither side, called on Yushchenko to intervene. "The current situation needs (the president's) involvement and his decision," he said. "But he has demonstrated himself to be a leader who cannot lead."

Source: AP

Comments

Anonymous said…
It's time Mr. Yushchenko to

"Shit or get off the pot..."