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Ukrainian Leaders Cool Political Crisis, Agree on September Elections

  • VOA News

Ukraine's president and prime minister have put an end to their feuding and agreed to hold parliamentary elections on September 30th.

President Viktor Yushchenko says the agreement means the political crisis in Ukraine is over.

He announced the deal early Sunday after talks through the night with his rival, Prime Minister Victor Yanukovych.

In a joint statement, the two, along with the speaker of parliament, said they agreed to have the legislature meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to enact bills for conducting fair, transparent, and democratic elections.

The stand-off began in April when Mr. Yanukovych and his allies defied an order from the president to dissolve parliament and hold new elections.

The rivalry between the Western-leaning Mr. Yushchenko and the pro-Russia Mr. Yanukovych has been simmering since the disputed presidential election of 2004.

Mr. Yanukovych won that vote, but Ukraine's Supreme Court nullified the results, and ordered a new election that Mr. Yushchenko won.

Tensions came to a head on Friday when President Yushchenko declared himself in command of the nation's security and ordered three-thousand Interior Ministry troops to report to the capital to maintain order.

However, other Interior Ministry troops loyal to Mr. Yanukovych set up roadblocks and barred the summoned soldiers from entering Kyiv.
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