Crisis avoided in Kiev

Ukraine's President and Prime Minister have ended the country's political crisis by setting a date for early parliamentary elections. People in Kiev are celebrating the end of the standoff.

The parliamentary elections will be held on September 30.

A compromise was reached after a stand-off between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, and continuing rallies in Ukraine's capital.  

With a deal in place, the Interior Minister has ordered special troops that were moved to Kiev on Saturday to return to their bases. 

Now there are several formal procedures to be implemented. On May 29 and 30 the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, will meet for special sessions to discuss the legislation needed for the early elections to be held. After that, the parties will hold their own meetings, at which they will cancel mandates of all the deputies within the parliament, and submit new lists to the Central Election Committee of Ukraine. After that, the President will have to sign a decree announcing the early election. 

“Primarily, we endorsed by our signatures all the formal decisions, which are needed to bring all the deputies, both from the opposition and from the coalition, to Parliament to adopt all the legal documents for early elections: from the amendments to the budget and the amendments to the law on the status of deputies. And a number of other documents,” Mr Yuschenko said. 

Ukraine’s President has also proposed an electronic registry for the voters in order to avoid any violations during the voting.

Speaking at a press conference, Viktor Yanukovich said, “I am convinced that there weren’t and aren’t any economic or social reasons for early elections – just the ambitions of the politicians, supporting the President, but it’s his business. He decided to join them and supported them, using his administrative resource. It’s very important for us that everything is done in accordance with the law. Then we, as law-abiding citizens, will meet all the requirements.”

As for the atmosphere on the streets of Kiev, it has calmed down. For many of the protesters the compromise reached between the two rival leaders has been a relief. However, the opinions about the early elections are mixed. 

“When they agree, you know, nobody knows what they agree about, how much will that influence the future, what we will have in the outcome, I don't like that. That’s why I cannot say whether I am absolutely positive or absolutely negative about it. When we see the results, it will be clear. But of course it sounds better than what we had before, at least,” Natalya Petrova, a Ukrainian citizen, says. 

Another person, however says, “I am against this. There will be early elections, then the ”Orange“ people will disagree again. Then there will be falsifications and all the rest. America supports the ”Orange“, but we are for Russia.”