KIEV, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko, insisted Tuesday during a meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on the mandatory implementation of a decree ordering new parliamentary elections in the country, his press service said.
The pro-Western president signed a decree Monday disbanding the parliament and calling for new legislative elections, promising they will be held in line with the Constitution and scheduling them for May 27. MPs said this was unconstitutional.
During an emergency government meeting last night, pro-Russian Yanukovych said Yushchenko should abolish the decree and sit down at the negotiating table.
Ukraine's latest political crisis was triggered by the defection of 11 opposition members of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine and the Tymoshenko Bloc to the majority coalition March 23.
Yushchenko has accused the majority coalition, led by Yanukovych, of trying to expand its power base through "unconstitutional means", notably by welcoming defecting lawmakers. In his opinion, only entire factions can join the ruling coalition.
Despite the presidential decree, the Supreme Rada decided not to cancel its meeting and adopted a number of resolutions Monday night.
In its address to the nation, it said the president had no justification to dissolve the body.
Yushchenko reiterated Tuesday that the use of military force should be ruled out in the current conflict. He also dismissed Supreme Rada Speaker Oleksandr Moroz, a strong opponent of his policies, from Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.
Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the eponymous opposition bloc in Ukraine, said Tuesday that the early parliamentary elections set by the president for May 27 would require about $60 million.
"If early elections are to be held, the country will need some 300 million hryvnias [$60 mln]. If the mafia is allowed to continue ruling the country, Ukraine will lose tens of billions of dollars, because Ukraine is being robbed today," Tymoshenko told a briefing.
She said funds for early elections should be allocated from the government's reserve fund worth $100 million.
Yanukovych said Tuesday the Ukrainian leader's dismissal of parliament was an attempt to seize power in the country.
"We can only conclude that the presidential decree to dissolve parliament is aimed at usurping power, because it disbands a legitimately elected parliament," Yanukovych said during an extraordinary meeting of the Supreme Rada.
At the session, parliament also banned the Cabinet from allocating funds to hold early parliamentary elections.
Tymoshenko said this Rada resolution and the president's decree to dismiss parliament should be passed on to the Constitutional Court for consideration.
She also said no additional government resolutions were required for fund allocation on early elections. She said the funds "are allocated from the reserve fund automatically after an election date has been set."
Tymoshenko said her bloc and the Our Ukraine bloc will independently take part in the parliamentary elections because they will receive more votes.
At the same time, she said, the two political forces will coordinate each other's operations and support each other.
Tymoshenko said Yushchenko will not cancel the Rada dissolution decree. "The president has no intention of backing down or canceling the decree," she said, reassuring journalists that the elections will be held anyway.