KIEV, May 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine's ruling Regions Party has dismissed the proposal to disband the Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament. On the contrary, the nationalistically minded political opposition "welcomed it cheerfully."
The idea was voiced Friday morning by Rada Speaker Vladimir Litvin, who said after a meeting with leaders of parliamentary factions that the MPs should admit the full collapse of parliamentarianism in Ukraine.
The idea of self-disbandment with a mere six months left before the next scheduled parliamentary election “doesn’t bear any legal effects,” said Alexander Yefremov, the leader of the Regions Party faction.
He accused the speaker of engaging in “self-promotion instead of resolving the problems of Rada activity in practical terms.”
Yefremov recalled along with this that “the Rada’s history has known the periods of early dissolutions, which didn’t bring about any encouraging effects, however.”
In a contrasting move, the faction of the bloc that bears the name of the now jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, the BYT, supported Litvin’s initiative on self-dissolution and on an early election.
“The opposition joyfully welcomed the speaker’s declaration that the parliament can’t exist any longer in the form it exists today, and that’s why we gladly uphold the idea of dissolution and an early election,” Rada Deputy Speaker Nikolai Tomenko said.
To fortify the legal grounds for the dissolution, he voiced the readiness to block the parliamentary rostrum for 30 days “so that the President would get a pretext for the dissolution and for an early election,” he said.
Tomenko believes that the early election might be held August 26 when Ukraine marks Coalminers’ Day.
The situation in the Rada, which has a long record of resounding scandals, brawls, and sieges of the rostrum, exploded once again Thursday when the opposition took resolute steps to disrupt the discussion of a bill, which would give Russian the status of a regional language in at least thirteen regions of the country where the native speakers of Russia live in large compacts communities and make up no less than 10% of the population.
Adoption of the bill would meet the provisions of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.
Nationalists organized protests outside the Rada’s building and the Yulia Timoshenko, who is serving a jail term of seven years in the northeast city of Kharkov, expressed full moral support for them from the hospital where she is currently taking a brief course of treatment.