Victor Yushchenko has met with ambassadors of the Group of Eight and the representative of the European Commission. His speech focused on how to resolve the country’s political and parliamentary crises and hold a transparent and fair election in May, according to the President`s press-office.

The President said he had signed a decree to disband parliament in accordance with the constitution.

“…My belief is that Ukraine is walking a democratic path and all the threats it faces on this path should be resolved in a democratic manner only,” he said, adding that his decision to call an early parliamentary election was an ultimately democratic tool to end the building political crisis.

Speaking about his motives to sign the order, Yushchenko said Ukraine’s political crisis had been caused by its parliamentary crisis. He said unconstructive cooperation between the parliamentary majority and opposition forces, as well as passage of unconstitutional bills, were all results of the illegitimate process of expanding the country’s ruling coalition. He reiterated that only deputy factions – not individual members – can form a coalition, under Ukraine’s constitution. He said this process “posed a threat to Ukraine’s constitutional order and will of the citizens.”

The parliamentary coalition was so preoccupied with its expansion that it no longer cared about what could help unite forces in the parliament, he said. He said the coalition had been reluctant to formulate Ukraine’s strategic agenda and its actions destructive, and accused the government and its majority of failing to fulfill the National Unity Pact.

“I am convinced that the lack of political will to fulfill national priorities, the practice to ignore the constitution and results of [last year’s parliamentary] election, the policy of confrontation – not cooperation – still dominates in Ukraine,” he said.

“In those circumstances, it was not only the President’s right to make this decision but his obligation to step in and stop this unconstitutional process. My decision is based on the constitution and so I would like to make it clear that calling an early is a correct political reaction to this situation,” he said. 

Yushchenko said the new election should be held constitutionally and pledged it would be free and democratic. 

He said he would hold additional talks with the government to persuade its members to fulfill his decree. He said he was going to ask G8 leaders to send observers to monitor the poll and asked the ambassadors to officially inform them of today’s meeting.