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Ukraine in Fire - 19 December, 2002

Work of the Supreme Rada paralized. Opposition preparing all-Ukrainian political strike.

Tuesday, deputies of pro-presidential majority of the Supreme Rada carried out ballot-paper voting and obtained redistribution of parliament committees in their favour. At the same time, deputies cancelled (which was the demand of the government) already approved in second reading 2003 state budget. The opposition accused the “majoritists” of commiting coup d’etat. Tuesday evening, opposition factions representatives tried, without success, to find in the parliament building the ballot-papers. They were never found. This fact made one of the opposition leaders, Alexandr Turchinov say the temporary counting commission had declared the results of the voting without possessing the ballot-papers, following the presidential administration command, while in fact the so-called “majority” had not enough votes.

Then, according to Turchinov, all the ballot-papers, were annihilated, while the opposition was accused of stealing them. At the Wednesday morning sitting, opposition deputies demanded again to show them the ballot-papers and again without success. Then, Communist Party of Ukraine leader, Petr Simonenko called the Rada speaker, Vladimir Litvin to cancellation of the day before voting results (on displacing the National Bank of Ukraine head, redistribution of parliament committees, and  on the passed 2003 state budget).

“Coup d’atet has been committed in the Supreme Rada,” – Petr Simonenko said as quoted by the Ukrainskiye Novosti newspaper. – “We are witnesses of a crime.” The communist leader said the opposition would no more permit passing non-legitimate decisions by the parliament. Afterwards, deputies of opposition faction started to cry out the slogan: “Down with Kuchma!” According to information agencies, people’s deputy from Socialist Party of Ukraine faction, Yury Lutsenko threw into speaker Vladimir Litvin the book of Supreme Rada Regulations, then the speaker simply closed the sitting, because he could not lead it in normal regime.

Leaders of the opposition factions Our Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU), Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU), and the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc (YTB), carried out a sitting in the session hall, where they discussed the situation in the parliament. All of them demand cancellation of the day before voting results.

According to the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper, the CPU leader  proposed to address to the diplomatic corps and to Ukrainian people. While Yulia Timoshenko proposed to create a joint opposition coordiantion council (with two representatives from every faction) which would work out further strategy. Yulia Timoshenko also proposed to carry out this Saturday a meeting in Kiev and to start preparations for all-Ukrainian strike. According to Yulia Timoshenko, opposition needs to initiate pre-term parliament and presidential election.  Moreover, there was also a proposal to invite a group of lawyers to appeal against the parliament majority activities. 
Yulia Timoshenko noticed in the framework of yesterday events 30 regulations violations had been committed by the majority, while opposition representatives registered all the violations officially. She also supposes PACE should consider all these violations at its next session.

Our Ukraine leader Viktor Yuschenko seems to still hope for an agreement with the authorities and offers his package of arrangements. “We are ready to pass economical and budget initiatives,” – he said. – “We offer moratorium on distribution of parliament committees.” According to him, a special procedure is necessary on the National Bank of Ukraine leadership, for the overthrown Vladimir Stelmakh does not intend to occupy again the Bank head chair. Though, if the agreement is not reached, Viktor Yuschenko is ready to organize an all-Ukrainian political strike and to obtain pre-term parliament election. According to Viktor Yuschenko, the parliament does not correspond with “people’s expectations and sympathies shown in March of 2002.”

Therefore, the question is not only about parliament, but also about presidential pre-term election (according to some poll results, this is Yuschenko who has today best chances for the presidential chair).
SPU leader Alexandr Moroz called to carrying out full opposition faction sittings at least twice a month, for “there is a series of issues we should discuss together, because the question is about the state fate.”

The leaders of the opposition four declared their intention to blockade the parliament work till the scandal voting results are cancelled. They also intend to create inter-faction union For Ukraine, for Domocracy, and Parliamentarism.”

Andrei Lubensky
PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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