Members of Ukraine’s parliament have adjourned a debate on options to settle the nation’s political crisis. They will try again tomorrow. All eyes are focussed on the chamber ahead of a December 26 re-run of the disputed presidential election. A deal is being sought to ensure the second round run-off ballot is free from fraud, unlike the first attempt in November.
But deadlock remains over the broader circumstances surrounding the polland the future of the country. Outgoing President Leonid Kuchma had earlier signalled some concessions, saying he would meet two of three key opposition demands. But, he later appeared to do a U-turn – saying no agreement had been reachedand insisting the opposition stalled the negotiations. His words however failed to dampen high spirits among opposition activists. They say their man was cheated out of victory the first time round and are hopeful of a different outcome next time Ukrainians go to the polls. The Ukrainian winner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest took to the stage in front of the crowds in Kiev to show her support for opposition leader ViktorYushchenko. Ruslana’s energetic performance provided some light relief for those who, day after day, have braved freezing temperatures.