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Published: Thursday August 21, 2014 MYT 10:25:08 PM
Updated: Thursday August 21, 2014 MYT 10:25:08 PM

Ukraine's Poroshenko says he could dissolve parliament on Sunday

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday he might announce the dissolution of parliament as early as Sunday - a move that will set up a parliamentary election in Ukraine in late October.

"The decision will be made when there is a constitutional basis for it and that moment, as everyone knows, is on Independence Day (Aug. 24)," Poroshenko was quoted as saying by Interfax Ukraine news agency.

The governing coalition in Ukraine, which ousted its Moscow-backed president in street protests in February precipitating major separatist rebellions in its eastern regions in which more 2,000 people have been killed, collapsed on July 24.

Under the constitution, at least a month has to pass before parliament can be dissolved.

Poroshenko, a wealthy confectionery magnate, and his pro-Europe leadership hope to have stabilised the situation enough by October to be able to hold an election under normal conditions which will earn his new administration increased legitimacy.

He and his liberal supporters will be seeking an endorsement for the tough line they have taken in the separatist war and the confrontation with Russia, which annexed Crimea in March after ex-president Viktor Yanukovich fled.

Poroshenko's government, headed by the liberal Arseny Yatesniuk, hope an election will clear out many of the "old guard" who supported Yanukovich and produce a parliamentary coalition that will be able to push through vital economic and political reform after years of chaotic misrule and malpractice.

"In my discussions with party factions and parliamentary leaders, I will be guided by the desire of the Ukrainian people. They want a 'reboot', they want a purging (of the system). The elections will be the best form for a purging," he said.

Eighty percent of the people wanted an election, he said, and he was ready to satisfy them. "We will fulfil what the people want," he said.

The crisis in Ukraine, in which the United Nations says more than 2,000 people have been killed, has resulted in the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

The United States and its European allies have supported Kiev in accusing Moscow of orchestrating the separatist rebellions and arming the rebels and have imposed broad sanctions on Russia.

Moscow denies being behind the rebellions.

(Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Alison Williams)

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