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6 Oct, 2008 00:17

Ukrainian President threatens to dissolve parliament

The political heat in Ukraine is rising, with Monday being the last day the country's political forces have in order to reach a deal on a new governing coalition. President Viktor Yushchenko has said he's ready to dissolve parliament if the parties fail t

This comes little more than a month after the pro-presidential party Our Ukraine pulled out of a coalition with the Bloc of Yulia Timoshenko, headed by the country's Prime Minister.

“Those inter-party agreements which exist now, I want them to be confirmed within the next several days, or else I will dissolve the Rada. I will meet the parties on October 7 for consultations. I’m giving a chance to those who had ‘relations on the side’ and to those who stayed devoted to their policies to talk like civilised politicians to find a way out of this situation,” said Yushchenko.
Throughout September parties again tried to reach agreement but without success. Three weeks ago most observers were confident the political forces would eventually find common ground, predicting that even fierce rivals the Party of Regions and the Bloc of Yulia Timoshenko would unite. However, they all now say that another early election seems inevitable.
“I’m already making bets that snap elections will take place on December 21. Our president has a certain way of thinking and likes mystical aspects very much. So I think December 21 will be just the day for elections, because it’s the year’s longest night, when daylight becomes longer, and he can interpret it as a victory of light over dark,” said political analyst Dmitry Vydrin.

But it’s no joke for the country’s leader. Not only is Viktor Yushchenko’s popularity declining, his authority is also in a fragile state.

Just a week ago the legitimacy of Ukraine’s weapons sales to Georgia was hotly debated in Kiev. Some of the contract documents reportedly had Yushchenko’s signature on them and some Rada deputies are now talking of initiating an impeachment process.

“Yushchenko has already done a lot to be impeached, apart from the weapons scandal. Consistent violations of the Ukrainian constitution make it possible for him to be dismissed early. So he and his team are in a tough situation and it’s in their interests to disperse the Rada,” said Mikhail Pogribinskiy, another political analyst.

However, in spite of the tension, both the parties and the president seem calm – the former because they have confidence in their electorate and the the latter because, according to some experts, the possibility of dispersing parliament for the second time in less than 18 months could be the start of a rise from the ashes for Yushchenko.

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