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Ukrainian President Sets Conditions To End Standoff

Yushchenko (left) and Yanukovych today in Kyiv (AFP) KYIV, April 20, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko says he is willing to suspend his decree dissolving parliament if lawmakers implement a series of political reforms, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported.

Yushchenko made his comments at a press conference in Kyiv today after meeting Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

"Is the president ready to suspend the decree [dissolving parliament and calling early elections]?" he said. "I want to state firmly that I am, if there is a package of political compromises formulated for a definite, short period of time."

Yushchenko called on legislators to enact "10 or 12 changes" to laws governing parliamentary procedure and regulations. Yushchenko said the changes would prevent "any revisions of election results by individual parliament members [rather than factions] joining a majority coalition."

Yushchenko disbanded parliament on April 2 and called new elections for May 27. Yushchenko justified the move by accusing Yanukovych's ruling coalition of illegally luring lawmakers away from the opposition in an effort to secure a veto-proof majority in parliament.

Yanukovych called the dissolution of parliament illegal. The Constitutional Court is currently considering the case.

(with material from Interfax)

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Ukrainian Voices

Ukrainian Voices

RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service asked people on the streets of Kyiv on April 10 what they think of the rule of law in Ukraine.

Leonid, a construction worker:
"I have taken a businessman for whom I worked to court. And I managed to defend my rights under the current government."

Alla Mykhaylovna, pensioner:
"So far, we are defending our rights in the squares. However, everything will be normal in the future and we will be able to defend our rights legally, and human rights will not be violated."

Oleksandr, construction worker:
"Of course it is impossible [to rely on the law]. The laws are not good. You can buy everything here. You can use a law any way you like."

Kateryna, a student:
"It is 50-50. It is not possible for everyone to defend their rights according to possibilities the laws provide. It often happens that money determines the result. On the other hand, there are more and more people who manage to prove they are right under the existing laws."


RFE/RL's coverage of Ukraine. The Ukrainian-language website of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service.