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Yanukovich says early parliamentary elections possible

July 04, 2012, 20:38 UTC+3

If this cannot be done, “we will have no other choice but use the procedure of early elections”

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KIEV, July 4 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine will have to elect a new parliament ahead of time if the incumbent one does not stabilise its work, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said at a meeting with parliamentary faction leaders on Wednesday, July 4.

“I think we must do everything we can to ensure that the parliament keeps working, end this session and certainly re-adjourn in September of this year. This is the main task,” the president said.

If this cannot be done, “we will have no other choice but use the procedure of early elections”.

According to Yanukovich, negotiations are needed in all factions between MPs and the opposition leaders.

“Until we go through this negotiating process we will not be able to discuss other issues,” he added.

“I have never interfered before, and I am not interfering now, in the work of the Verkhovna Rada, but I am interested to preserve stability in the country. This is why I do not want to make any conclusions now about how the law on the basic principles of state language policy was adopted,” Yanukovich said.

The president said he would study the situation and have the law examined by experts. “I will make full use of everything that is within the president’s jurisdiction. Only after I have studied everything will I be able to express my point of view and make certain decisions,” he said.

Parliamentary elections in Ukraine are scheduled for late October 2012.

On Tuesday, July 3, the parliament passed the law, which gives the status of regional to the Russian language in 13 of 27 Ukrainian regions.

The law keeps Ukrainian as the only official language in the country but broadens the rights of the languages of ethnic minorities. It says that in a region that is home to more than 10 percent of an ethnic minority, its language will have special status.

Ukraine has the world's largest Russian-language community. More than 8.2 million people consider themselves Russian, and almost 15 million people say Russian is their native language.

The Russian language has been officially allowed to be used for court proceedings in Ukraine.

Court proceedings in Ukraine were conducted only in Ukrainian from September 1, 2005 and until July 7, 2010. Those who do not know it had to hire an interpreter. This problem was particularly sensitive in the eastern regions of the country and the Crimea. The Party of Regions spoke up immediately against “linguistic violence” and said “the judicial system has been paralysed by violations of the principle of direct participation and free assessment by all parties involved in court proceedings”.

Under the previous presidential administration, the Verkhovna Rada adopted 43 laws that excluded the Russian language from public life.

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