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Judges deciding Ukraine crisis are given protection

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Judges deciding Ukraine crisis are given protection


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.

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