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Yushchenko dissolves parliament, calls snap election

Latest update : 2008-10-09

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has called for snap elections after ruling parties failed to agree on a coalition. In a TV speech, the victor of the "Orange Revolution" blamed estranged ally Yulia Tymoshenko for the government split.

KIEV, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenko said on Thursday the Dec. 7 early election he had
called was "no tragedy" and urged voters to look upon the third
such ballot in as many years as a vital part of democracy.

Yushchenko named the day while on a visit to Italy, a day
after he told Ukrainians he had abandoned the search for a
viable coalition in parliament.

He blamed Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, his estranged
ally from the 2004 "Orange Revolution", for the break-up of a
coalition that emerged from the pro-Western upheaval which swept
him to power.

Speaking to reporters in Rome, Yushchenko said Ukraine would
have faced "anarchy" had he failed to act.

"Leaving everything in a state of uncertainty would truly
have pushed an institute like parliament into chaos," he said.

"I would not like millions of Ukrainians to see this early
election as a tragedy of some sort. We live in a democratic
country and democracy is like a lady who has an anwswer to any
question. She has neither weapons, nor cannons, nor tanks, but
she always comes up with an answer."

Yushchenko said parliament, due to resume sittings later in
the day, would proceed with necessary measures to finance the
campaign -- after which his decree would be published.

Tymoshenko's government, he said, would stay in place.

"I believe there is no need for any revisions," he said.

Voters were clearly angry at the prospect of another poll.

"I, for one, will not be voting. I mean, how many times are
we expected to do this?" said Natalya, a pensioner.

Independent analyst Oleksander Dergachyov said the election
would do little to remedy underlying political problems.

"The crisis will reappear in a different format, maybe less
acute," Dergachyov said. "But the problems will remain: a vague
distribution of powers and unstable form of administration."



The "orange" coalition unravelled when the president's Our
Ukraine party walked out of its alliance with Tymoshenko's bloc
last month.

Yushchenko twice named Tymoshenko prime minister but has
been constantly at odds with her almost since his election.

In the days leading up to dissolution, he was scathing in
dismissing her calls to reinstate their parties' coalition.

"I am convinced, deeply convinced that the democratic
coalition was ruined by one thing alone -- human ambition. The
ambition of one person," he said in his address on Wednesday.

Differences focused on a variety of issues -- including a
debate on dividing up power and the president's allegation that
Tymoshenko had been too soft on Russia in its war with Georgia.

He was enraged by Tymoshenko's tactical voting alliance with
former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich in passing legislation
-- subsequently repealed -- that cut presidential powers.

All three politicians are assessing their chances in a
presidential election due to take place by early 2010.

Groups other than the president's allies denounced the
decree and some politicians vowed to challenge it in the courts.

Tymoshenko's bloc denounced dissolution as a move against
the interests of the nation of 47 million. Yanukovich, main
adversary of "orange" protesters and now opposition leader, said
the decree destroyed the "final illusions" of many Ukrainians.

Polls show support of 20 percent each for Tymoshenko and
Yanukovich and below 10 percent for Yushchenko.

Date created : 2008-10-09