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Ukraine opposition urges early presid, parliament elections

February 18, 2013, 18:48 UTC+3

The Ukrainian opposition believes that the only way out of the country’s political crisis are early parliamentary and presidential elections

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KIEV, February 18 (Itar-Tass) – The Ukrainian opposition believes that the only way out of the country’s political crisis are early parliamentary and presidential elections. “We are ready for early elections to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) and the presidential elections,” leader of the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) faction Arseny Yatsenyuk said at a briefing on Monday.

Deputy head of the faction Sergei Sobolev reported that the opposition proposes to hold early elections. According to him, a regular meeting that was held on Monday with the factions’ leaders by the Verkhovna Rada speaker Vladimir Rybak, again yielded no result. “In this connection we have officially declared that our political force initiates the early parliamentary elections’ process. This is the only way to get out of the parliamentary crisis,” said the lawmaker.

He also said that a working group comprising representatives of the Rada factions for working out a new electoral law is formed starting from Monday.

“We told the parliament chairman that according to the new law on elections, MPs should be elected exclusively by open lists, which will not allow the ruling party to falsify them,” Yatsenyuk added.

Last week, lawmakers from the ruling Party of Regions warned the opposition of the possibility of early parliamentary elections if the parliament does not begin to work. “We are threatened with new elections, that the president has the possibility to dissolve the parliament. Moreover, we are told that the elections will be held one hundred percent under the majority system. That is, the Party of Regions will be able to form the needed majority,” leader of the opposition party Vitali Klitschko said. Meanwhile, on Monday leader of the Party of Regions faction Alexander Yefremov stressed that at the moment “this issue should not even be discussed.” “In a situation in which the world’s and Ukrainian economy are now I would not play with such things. It’s absurd if politicians cannot agree among themselves, and the state has to spend billions to satisfy the whims of some politicians,” the member of the Party of Regions said.

Faction leaders on Friday met with Verkhovna Rada speaker Vladimir Rybak in a bid to reach an agreement, but to no avail. “The speaker suggested that the factions should agree all disputable issues in a memorandum, this move won no support,” Alexander Yefremov told journalists. According to Yefremov, the opposition insists on the introduction of the Rada-3 voting system with a soft key. “The voting is up to lawmakers, and faction leaders must undertake responsibility,” he said. In his words, no salary should be paid to those lawmakers who do not take part in voting.

The Verkhovna Rada has been inactive since February 5, as the opposition insists on ensuring personal voting. The Party of Regions is against this. The last time the country’s elections were held by the majority system in 1998. Under the Constitution, early elections are appointed by the President, if the Verkhovna Rada fails within 30 days of one plenary session to begin a meeting.


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