Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ukraine Pro-Presidential Bloc Calls For Abolishing Deputy Immunity

KIEV, Ukraine -- A sign-up campaign in support of abolishing the deputy immunity will be launched in Ukraine on Monday. The pro-presidential bloc “Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence” initiated the campaign.

Yulia Timoshenko (L) and Yuri Lutsenko (R)

“The struggle for abolishing the deputy immunity is one of the main principles of the bloc’s election campaign,” the bloc’s leader and former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko emphasized.

According to him, “It is the first step in the crusade against corruption and crime in the country.”

President Viktor Yushchenko earlier called on all parties to refuse from the deputy immunity in a new parliament. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich calls only for abolishing the deputy immunity in criminal cases.

The election race in Ukraine will begin officially on August 2 and will last till September 30, when early parliamentary elections should be held.

However, the leading players on the political stage have been conducting an agitation campaign for a long time.

If the pro-presidential bloc stakes on the abolishment of the deputy immunity, Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc began agitating for holding a referendum on changes in the Ukrainian Constitution simultaneously with the early parliamentary elections.

Nine questions are offered to be put up for a referendum, including the choice on a type of government – a presidential or a parliamentary republic.

If Ukrainians vote for the presidential power, the president should also head the government.

If a parliamentary republic is chosen, the Supreme Rada will appoint a premier and a government. Timoshenko offers to abolish the post of president.

The pro-presidential bloc took this initiative as “nonobligatory for execution,” as such issues cannot be resolved at referendums.

The Party of Regions considered an idea voiced by Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc as “political cheating at play.”

Political scientist Viktor Bozhenko links an initiative to hold a referendum with Timoshenko’s striving to invigorate interest of voters to her bloc.

Political scientist Andrei Yermolayev does not rule out that it may be a landmark deal with favorable referendum results for the president in exchange for guarantees of Timoshenko’s premiership.

Source: Itar-Tass

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