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Ukraine's parliament puts by over $70 mln for snap elections

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KIEV, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's parliament Friday amended the 2007 budget to earmark 365 million hryvnias ($72 million) for early elections the president called in April.

The Supreme Rada's refusal to provide funding for the polls was a key stumbling block to early elections until the Western-leaning president, the pro-Russian prime minister and the parliamentary speaker reached an agreement last Sunday to hold snap polls on September 30 in a bid to end the political crisis simmering since the president dismissed parliament on April 2.

The amendments on funding will come into force after President Viktor Yushchenko signs a decree to fix the new election date. Until then, the president's April 26 decree calling early elections on June 24 will remain in effect.

The Rada also refreshed the Central Election Commission at the president's initiative.

Yushchenko has been pressing for parliament's dissolution and early elections following the defection of 11 opposition members to the premier-led ruling coalition in parliament, which the president said was in circumvention of the Constitution.

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