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    Ukraine's Yushchenko to meet parliament at conference

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    Ukraine's president will make another attempt Tuesday to break the political deadlock that has all paralyzed legislative work since the inconclusive March 26 elections.

    KIEV, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's president will make another attempt Tuesday to break the political deadlock that has all paralyzed legislative work since the inconclusive March 26 elections.

    Viktor Yushchenko will attend a conciliation conference with the leaders of all political forces in the country's parliament at 11:00 local time (8 a.m. GMT) in a move that follows a roundtable Monday initiated by the president that only the Communist Party leader turned up for.

    The leader of opposition Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovych explained his absence by saying the problems that should have been addressed by the new coalition majority and the opposition at the roundtable would be better addressed through a conciliation board.

    Yanukovych said the decision to hold a conciliation conference was made Monday in conversation with the head of state and his party wanted to end the gridlock.

    "When all is said and done, our principal concern is to ensure the smooth working of parliament," he said.

    The Party of Regions is continuing a sit-in of the country's parliament to prevent the start of a plenary session in protest over a coalition formed by three other movements.

    Following a similar move last week that paralyzed the legislature for a few days, about 15 party members settled in the Supreme Rada Monday morning to stop anyone approaching the rostrum or the presidential seat.

    The pro-Russia party decided to take the action after the "orange" trio of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialists had formed a coalition and agreed on nominees for the posts of prime minister and parliamentary speaker.

    The Party of Regions gained the most seats in the Rada (186) after the March 26 elections, but was frozen out of negotiations between the three Western-leaning parties, which have an overall 243 seats.

    If Ukraine's parliament fails to start work in the next three weeks, or fails to elect a prime minister and speaker, the president is entitled to dissolve it and call early elections.

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