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    Ukrainian president sets Dec. 7 for early parliamentary elections

    HotNewsTurkey with wires
    09.10.2008 - 11:22 | Son Güncelleme:

    Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has ordered early parliamentary elections be held on Dec. 7, after the collapse of the ruling pro-West coalition, according to a decree published on Thursday.

    Yushchenko's call was issued while he was on a visit to Italy and a day after he told the nation of 47 million he had abandoned the search for a viable coalition in parliament, the Verkhovna (Supreme) Rada.  

    "I decree ... to hold early elections to the Verkhovna Rada on December 7, 2008," the president's website, www.president.gov.ua, said.

    The decree cited article 90 of the post-Soviet constitution which enables him to dissolve the assembly if talks fail to produce a viable governing combination.

    Political groups other than the president's Our Ukraine party have denounced the election call and some politicians have pledged to challenge the decree in the courts.

    Yushchenko blamed Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, his estranged ally from the 2004 "Orange Revolution", for the collapse of a government team that emerged from that pro-Western upheaval which swept him to power.

    "I am deeply convinced that it was human ambition that destroyed the democratic coalition -- one person’s ambition, lust for power, differences in values and putting personal interests ahead of national ones," Yushchenko said, referring to Tymoshenko, in his televised speech on Wednesday.

    The crisis has raised concerns in the West that pro-Moscow parties may come to power, casting doubt on a bid by the former Soviet republic to strengthen ties with Washington and Brussels.

    The pro-West coalition collapsed in September after Yushchenko’s party pulled out in protest at Tymoshenko’s decision to support a bid by the pro-Russian opposition to reduce the presidents powers.

    Tensions between the pair deepened during the Russo-Georgian war in August, with Yushchenko supporting Tbilisi and charging Tymoshenko with "treason" for her neutral stance.

    Yushchenko twice named Tymoshenko prime minister but has been constantly at odds with her almost since his election. He paid scant heed to her calls to patch up differences and reinstate their parties' coalition.

    The election is the third in as many years in the ex-Soviet state gripped by political turmoil since the protests of 2004.


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