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Early polls must be parliamentary, presidential - Ukraine PM

If early elections are held in Ukraine they should be both parliamentary and presidential, the Ukrainian prime minister said Wednesday.
KIEV, April 11 (RIA Novosti) - If early elections are held in Ukraine they should be both parliamentary and presidential, the Ukrainian prime minister said Wednesday.

"If we hold early elections, they should be both parliamentary and presidential," Viktor Yanukovych said. "They must be conducted in the framework of the current Ukrainian legislation."

The crisis in the former Soviet republic, a transit nation for Russian energy exports to Europe, reached its peak after President Viktor Yushchenko issued a decree to dissolve parliament, which is currently dominated by factions loyal to his long-time rival, Prime Minister Yanukovych.

Lawmakers refused to obey pending a ruling by the Constitutional Court, and supporters of the rival factions have faced off on the streets of the capital, Kiev.

"We should not allow anyone to threaten our Constitution and must build a law-governed state," the prime minister said.

The 14-member Constitutional Court was due to begin examining lawmakers' complaint against the order Wednesday, but has withheld judgment on the constitutionality of the presidential decree until April 17.

Yushchenko had originally set the date for early elections for May 27, but Vitaliy Haiduk, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said Wednesday that the president could suspend the implementation of his decree and postpone the elections if the opposing political forces reached a compromise.

"The Constitution clearly states that early polls must be conducted within 60 days after the publication of a presidential decree, but there are other mechanisms that can be implemented if all political forces agree to participate in the elections," Haiduk said, adding that in these circumstances the president could temporarily suspend his order.

Meanwhile, leader of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party, Viacheslav Kyrylenko, said Wednesday that Yushchenko supporters will hold daily protest rallies in central Kiev until all power factions complied with orders under the presidential decree to dissolve parliament.

The current crisis was triggered by the defection of 11 members of Our Ukraine and the opposition Yulia Tymoshenko factions, who joined the ruling coalition and moved it closer to a 300-seat majority with the power to override presidential vetoes and impeach the president.

The Western-leaning Yushchenko and the more Moscow-friendly Yanukovych have so far failed to reach a compromise.

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