People power is in evidence in Ukraine, once again. But this is very different from the Orange Revolution that swept Victor Yushchenko to power. The crowds demonstrating in Kiev today back his arch-rival Victor Yanukovich in a tug of war that has brought the nation to the brink of constitutional crisis.
They have taken to the streets to protest at President Yushchenko’s decision to dissolve parliament and call new elections. While dismissing the move as a “fatal error,” Prime Minister Yanukovich today put forward a list of concessions aimed at settling the dispute.
“There is a crisis and something must be done,” said one protester. “How many times must we bear these coup d‘états between the two sides? Everyone must work for the good of the country and not for their own interests.” “I think that by being here, I can help,” a woman added. “I trust Yanukovich, his team and his party.”
Some of the prime minister’s supporters spent the night in a tent camp by parliament, in a much smaller version of the mass gatherings of 2004. President Yushchenko moved to dissolve parliament after accusing the premier of illegally enlisting allies to expand his coalition. Talks between the two men failed to resolve the row. The Constitutional Court is set to rule on the issue. But today reports said its chairman had resigned.