Ukrainian Rada overrides President's objections

Ukraine's parliament – the Rada – is back in session despite the objections of President Viktor Yushchenko. He had urged MPs not to attend the session. In a televised address to the nation, Mr Yushchenko called his political opponent

In April, the Ukrainian President called for early elections after issuing a decree dismissing parliament. This started a prolonged political crisis, which was more or less settled in May. But there is still no consensus over the legal status of the current parliament.

Rada Speaker Aleksandr Moroz insists the Rada still exists constitutionally.  He has called MPs for a session on Tuesday following the summer recess.

“Unfortunately, our President headed demarche against the Parliament. Instead of defending the Parliament, he and his team are intimidating, infringing the right of deputies of blocking up courts,” said Aleksandr Moroz, Rada of 5th convocation Speaker.

The move has angered both the President and his supporters. The head of state himself was very clear, saying that any bills passed at the session will not become law.

“Behind this provocation stands a desire to break up the future elections. It is caused by fear of losing power and seats in the government. This country has changed. It does not want to participate in these schemes. People do not want to deal with politicians who constantly lie to them,” President Yushchenko said in his televised address.

Yet the opposition parties failed to attend the session saying they have officially resigned a few months ago.
“Now there are less than 300 deputies in the parliament. It is not a constitutional majority, and it does not allow the parliament to gather for plenary sessions. Of course, they are deputies and they can gather at any day, but not for parliament sessions,” stressed Nikolay Onishchuk, Our Ukraine Party member.

Early elections in Ukraine are due to be held on September 30.