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Ukraine's leader threatens to prosecute rivals

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Ukraine's leader threatens to prosecute rivals


There is little sign of an end in sight to the standoff between Ukraine’s leader’s over the president’s decree to dissolve parliament. In his opening comments of a security council meeting in Kiev this morning, President Viktor Yushchenko said he would not backtrack on his decision to call an early election. He also increased pressure on his prime minister and main rival Viktor Yanukovich by threatening to prosecute anyone who fails to comply with his order.

Yanukovich, who has refused to take part, responded by saying Ukraine should wait for a ruling from the Constitutional Court on whether the dissolution of parliament was legal. A ruling is expected to take more than a month. Backed by thousands of supporters who have taken to the streets, the prime minister has called for international mediation to help solve the crisis. For the fourth consecutive day, protestors remain camped outside parliament.

Analysts say Yanukovich’s no-nonsense attitude has seen him gain new support across the country while Yushchenko’s popularity has faded as some people feel he’s blocking parliament to cling on to power.

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