Ukrainian President dissolves parliament, announces early elections

KIEV, (PNA/ITAR-TASS) – Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko on Monday dissolved the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) and announced early legislative elections.

The president dissolved the Rada “as this is the only correct and responsible decision,” his spokesperson Svyatoslav Tsegolko said on Twitter.

Poroshenko urged “democratic political forces to run in the elections as a single pro-Ukrainian and pro-European team”.

The issue of elections popped up a month ago when the pro-government coalition broke up and lawmakers failed to form a new coalition of at least 226 deputies within a month after that.

On Aug. 22, Poroshenko held consultations with faction leaders, as required by the Constitution, before dissolving the parliament.

“No new coalition was formed within a month as stipulated by law in which case the Constitution allows the president to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada,” Poroshenko said.

He said “80 percent of people support pre-term elections” and set the date for Oct. 26.

The president said the elections are part of the peace plan, a key element of which is “the political dialogue with Donbas [eastern Ukraine]”.

The elections will be held under existing legislation.

Half of the parliament is elected from parties and the other half in one-seat constituencies.