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Ukraine's parliament, president discussing early election

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has begun consultations with top lawmakers over the possible dissolution of parliament and early elections to resolve the country's ongoing political crisis, the presidential press office said Monday.
KIEV, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has begun consultations with top lawmakers over the possible dissolution of parliament and early elections to resolve the country's ongoing political crisis, the presidential press office said Monday.

The crisis, which has faced Ukraine since March 2006 when elections failed to produce a majority party that could form a government on its own, took a new twist in March this year when several MPs from opposition factions switched allegiance to the majority coalition. The president said the move was unconstitutional, and threatened to dissolve parliament and call an early election. But under Ukraine's constitution, the head of state cannot sign an order on the legislature's dissolution until he holds consultations with the Speaker and faction leaders.

Opening his political consultations Monday, Yushchenko said the current crisis stemmed largely from the fact that the Supreme Rada's majority coalition had been formed on the basis of individual or group membership rather than faction affiliation, as the Constitution prescribes.

Also, the current parliament, which held its first session last June, failed to comply with the provision where a majority coalition should be formed within 30 days after the inauguration of a newly elected legislature, Yushchenko said.

"This approach to forming a majority coalition at the Supreme Rada is unconstitutional, and means parliament's work is unlawful," he said.

Another factor contributing to the crisis, according to the President, is that the Rada increasingly passes legislation in contravention of the Constitution.

"This applies to laws regulating the activity of the state and government bodies," he said, citing as an example a law on the Cabinet, which allegedly contains "highly dubious clauses concerning constitutional requirements."

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