Victor Yushchenko has signed a decree to postpone early elections. In a televised address to the nation, he said:

Dear fellow citizens,

On April 2, I issued a decree to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada. As I explained at that time, the motive behind my decision was clear and simple – Ukraine’s parliamentary coalitionhad beenformed through unconstitutional means. Mandates of lawmakers were manipulated on the basis of political corruption, which led to the manipulation of your votes and your choice. This was, in fact, a revision of the political results of the elections and a brutal violation of the fundamental principles ofthe constitution. The ruling coalition was deliberately expanding its majority to make its rule uncontrollable, posing a threat to the nation’s sovereignty and Ukraine’s constitutional order.

On July 11, 2006, the rules of coalition formation were violated too, when individual deputies joined it, but all the participants of the political process, including me, Ukraine’s president, thought it was an episode. We thought it was necessary to pass this episode, for the country needed political stability after the two election campaigns. However, in the March of 2007, the practice of luring opposition lawmakers into the majority became widespread and common. This led to massive violations of the constitution. You, your choice, our freedom and our country, its sovereignty and unity were in grave danger. As guarantor of Ukraine’s supreme law and the observance of your rights and freedoms, I stopped this assault and had to interfere in the situation in Ukraine’s parliament by disbanding it.

I fulfilled my obligationas Ukraine’s president. I protected the national constitution, and, in fact, I fulfilled my oath of office.

So today I want to state firmly: there will be an early parliamentary election in Ukraine. This is the only way to vaccinate Ukrainian politicians with the sense of responsibility for each of you, because you are a real power. You rule thestate and form the source of government and the country's government. My position is uncompromising: I firmly demand the snap poll must be well prepared and held. I would like to say that I heededa statement by the Central Election Commission, which had been made two days ago, that it had no quorum, creating very serious obstacles and making it impossible to hold the election on May 27, 2007. These impediments were also enumerated in yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine. I expressed my concerns to Ukraine’s prime minister over the refusal of the cabinet of ministers to finance your vote. This action is criminal.At the same time, one month has passed since the Verkhovna Rada re-formatted the coalition unconstitutionally. Now the president of Ukraine can fully exercise his right to dissolve parliament accordingto article 90 of Ukraine’s constitution.

I am confident in the legality and politicalexpediencyof such a decision. I am convinced Ukrainian society will understand it, as well as all responsible Ukrainian politicians.

So we will have the election. We will hold it peacefully, fairly and in a democratic manner, as it should be done in a democratic state. In order to conduct itwithout problems to democratically resolve problems in the country’s life and guided by article 5 of Ukraine’s constitution, I am signing a decree to call an early election for June 24, 2007. My step is sober and reflects constructive political will. Ukraine needs changes. The people of Ukraine deserve a better fate and better politics. I amdeterminedand eager to achieve this.

Thank you for your attention.


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