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Kyiv Quiet As Signs Of Political Compromise Emerge

Opposition and ruling-coalition supporters facing off in Kyiv on April 21 (epa) KYIV, April 21, 2007 -- The streets of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were quiet today as signs appeared of a possible political compromise between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Thousands of rival demonstrators have been turning out daily in Kyiv in support of the two leaders, who are feuding over the legality of Yushchenko's April 2 decree to dissolve parliament.

Blue Frustration

One pro-Yanukovych demonstrator, who gave her name only as Halyna, expressed frustration at the ongoing dispute in remarks to RFE/RL's Ukraine Service.

"I've left my vegetable garden untended, I can't stand it any longer -- they've been rebelling and agitating people for three years, you can't bear it any more. Why should we need any elections?" Halyna said. "Yushchenko told us the elections were fair, so why [do they say] now they’re unfair? How's that?

"He doesn't like this parliament, so what -- why does he need to stir all Ukraine? Can't you see it's unfair? Can't you see people suffer [because of that]? We're fed up with listening to him every day, to that slander and lies. That's why we've come here -- so that we don't see it [any more]," Halyna added.

Opposition Hopes

Zoya Polikarpivna spoke to RFE/RL as a supporter of the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, which is backing the president's calls to hold new elections.

"I'm from Dnipropetrovsk. And I only want to vote for Yuliya [Tymoshenko]," Polikarpivna said. Why? Because she just wants to ensure the freedom of speech," Polikarpivna said. "I'm a grandmother already, I have three grandchildren, and I want my grandchildren to have normal jobs, as I once had at a factory. I used to go there as if for a celebration. And now they've closed all the factories -- where do you have to go to look [for a job]? I hope if we'll have Yuliya we'll have everything."

Yushchenko says he is willing to suspend his decree on dissolving parliament if lawmakers enact a series of changes to laws governing parliament procedure and rules. He had ordered parliament dissolved after accusing the governing coalition of illegally luring lawmakers away from the opposition.

Yanukovych says he and the president plan to work out a compromise in the coming week.

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