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20 Oct, 2008 15:30

Ukraine postpones ‘apocalyptic’ election

The President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, has signed a decree to postpone a snap parliamentary election in the country by seven days, moving them back to December 14. It follows Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko's insistence that going to the polls early

Timoshenko said her political bloc was pulling out of what she is calling the country's “political struggle for power”. In a TV address, the premier said a snap election called for December 7 was unthinkable as it would be the “the end of Ukraine”.

Timoshenko also called for a new cabinet of ministers to be appointed to tackle the country's financial crisis, and for a new parliamentary coalition to be formed.

She said all groups within the Parliament should take part.

Confrontation between the country's political forces intensified after President Yushchenko's party pulled out of the governing coalition on September 3.

The country’s politicians failed to form a new coalition by October 9, allowing Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and call a snap election.

On Sunday, Timoshenko urged the president and Ukraine’s political elite to avoid fresh elections and get back to work.

“I address the President, all political powers, leaders of all parties and call for immediate resumption of the Parliament’s work. I also call for the formation of a coalition to protect the country form the financial crisis, to reform the Cabinet of Ministers and to create a government for protecting the country from the global financial crisis,” Timoshenko said.

Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council has scheduled a session for Monday to consider a national plan on protecting the country from the consequences of the destabilisation of the world’s monetary system.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich has claimed that early elections are crucial and that his Party of Regions will not participate in negotiations with the Timoshenko Bloc.