Victor Yushchenko told a news conference on Friday yesterday’s decision by members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the pro-presidential Our Ukraine Bloc to relinquish their mandates showed that the Verkhovna Rada “has lost its legitimacy and capability”, according to the President`s press-office.

“I think this decision is exceptionally lawful, for it is the exclusive right of any lawmaker to give up his or her mandate,” he said.

He added that each political force has the right to decide to either participate in or withdraw from “such a dirty political process, which discredits their status.” He thinks they made this decision after seeing no progress in political negotiations.

Under Ukraine’s constitution, the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada is not plenipotentiary if it has fewer than three hundred members, he said.