Ukraine's President tells PM to submit to parliament dissolution decree

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Ukraine's President tells PM to submit to parliament dissolution decree

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Ukraine’s leaders have held face-to-face talks in an effort to end the power struggle that is threatening to plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.

President Viktor Yuschenko told Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich to submit to his decree on dissolving parliament and prepare for an early election next month.

He also said he would not allow the use of force.

The Prime Minister had launched a legal bid to challenge what he called a “fatal error”.

He told Parliament his government would function “without impediment” and stressed the need to respect Ukraine’s constitution.

Several members of Yanukovich’s three-party coalition backed his comments.

But former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said her fellow parliamentarians had no right to stay in their chairs.

Nearly a year of sniping between Ukraine’s leaders burst into the open last week when the President accused Yanukovich of illegally expanding his coalition majority by poaching his supporters.

Thousands gathered in central Kiev on Tuesday in a scene reminiscent of the demonstrations which swept the President to power.

But this row has raised the possibility of clashes in the streets between rival protestors.

Even if all sides agree to take part in the upcoming election, it could produce more of the stalemate that has afflicted Ukraine since a parliamentary poll just over a year ago.