Ukraine's president could dissolve parliament

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Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko said Thursday he might dissolve the Supreme Rada (parliament) following the switch of allegiance by several members of opposition factions to the parliamentary majority.
KIEV, March 29 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko said Thursday he might dissolve the Supreme Rada (parliament) following the switch of allegiance by several members of opposition factions to the parliamentary majority.

On March 23, 2007, 11 MPs from opposition factions Our Ukraine and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc joined the majority coalition in the Supreme Rada.

Yushchenko said Wednesday that the defections by opposition members to the parliamentary majority ran counter to the country's Constitution, which states that in parliament "the coalition of factions should be based on election results and agreed political positions."

At a news conference in Lugansk Thursday the Ukrainian president said there were two ways forward. "It would be better for the hotheads to cool off and we will do our best to form a parliamentary majority...in accordance with the Constitution," he said.

As the other option, the Ukrainian leader said, a political decision could be made to hold early elections. The Ukrainian presidential secretariat has already prepared a draft decree proposing the Supreme Rada be dissolved, which Adam Martynyuk, parliament's first deputy chairman, presented at a meeting of coalition MPs.

The document reads, "Ukraine's Supreme Rada of the fifth convocation, elected on March 26, 2006, should be dissolved over a failure to form a coalition of parliamentary factions within a month."

The draft decree proposes that early elections be held May 27.

The first deputy chairman said the Supreme Rada would first have to obtain permission from the Constitutional Court to dissolve parliament.

Martynyuk said that Yushchenko had instructed the government and the Central Election Commission to secure funds for organizing and holding early parliamentary election.

The crisis in the Supreme Rada follows months of in-house wrangling and power struggles between the Party of Regions, which came first in last year's elections, the Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine.

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