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  Monday, November 18, 2019
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Political crisis continues to grip Ukraine since the president disbanded parliament in early April and called snap elections
A political crisis continues to grip Ukraine since the president disbanded parliament in early April and called snap elections, with Viktor Yushchenko and the defiant legislature issuing fresh conflicting orders. In a resolution backed by 255 lawmakers, with 226 required, the Supreme Rada renewed its calls to the president Friday to back down from his decision. Yushchenko disbanded parliament and called early parliamentary polls in two decrees April 2 and 26 over the defection of pro-presidential lawmakers to the majority coalition controlled by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, his long-time rival. On Friday, Yushchenko appointed a second judge in two days to the Constitutional Court, which is examining the legality of his decree. They are to replace the judges he dismissed earlier in the week over alleged "violation of their oath." The coalition, comprising the premier's Party of Regions, the Communists and the Socialists, said their appointments were illegal as they had not been approved by the premier and the justice minister and they had not taken oaths in parliament. The coalition earlier accused Yushchenko of plans "to disrupt the work of the Constitutional Court," which is widely expected to rule against the president, and said it was a "coup attempt." Also Friday, the legislature formerly reinstated the Central Election Commission (CEC) it sacked April 2 immediately after Yushchenko disbanded the Supreme Rada. Parliament tasked the commission with preparing for parliamentary, as well as presidential elections. Yushchenko met with the CEC head Thursday over preparations for parliamentary polls June 24. Pro-presidential factions quit the disbanded parliament April 19. Tensions in the ex-Soviet state have persisted since Yanukovych came to power as premier after the March 2006 parliamentary elections, following his defeat by Yushchenko in the 2004 contested presidential election.
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