While protestors continue to gather on the streets, behind closed doors the focus of Ukraine’s political crisis is now turning to the country’s Constitutional Court. A crucial hearing was postponed until next Tuesday, over claims of intimidation. Five of the 18 judges have now been given bodyguards.
The first sign of a compromise came yesterday, however, when President Viktor Yuschenko said he was flexible over dates for the snap elections – but nothing more. Yuschenko has issued a decree dissolving parliament, which the Russian-backed majority of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich has dismissed as unconstitutional. Opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko called for the poll to take place as soon as possible: “It is impossible to postpone the polls – the constitution says early elections must take place within 60 days of Parliament being dissolved – and that date is May the 27th.”
Yuschenko said he had put forward a 15-point plan to resolve the crisis during talks with Yanukovych yesterday. Yanukovich’s supporters in turn said they will only support early parliamentary polls if a presidential vote is held as well. However they do not have enough of a majority to bring this about.