Ukraine Breaks Up Parliament, Sets Oct 26 as Parliamentary Election; Russia Plans 2nd Aid Convoy
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 26, 2014 1:10 PM EST
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has scheduled Oct 26 as a day for parliamentary election in his country, effectively breaking up the present composition of Ukraine's Parliament. He said the dissolution and early parliamentary elections were part of his plan to regain peace in Ukraine.
People gather in front of Ukrainian Interior Ministry security forces members who form a cordon during a rally outside a city police department in the Black Sea port of Odessa, May 4, 2014. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk accused Russia on Sunday of engineering clashes in Odessa that led to the deaths of more than 40 pro-Russian activists in a blazing building and pushed the country closer to civil war.
Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Poroshenko's spokesman, on his Facebook account, said the development meant to call on the "democratic forces" in Ukraine to enter the elections under a united "pro-Ukrainian, pro-European team."
Tsegolko said the Verkhovna Rada, the country's parliament, was dismissed "because it is the only right and responsible decision."
Poroshenko has said the ballot will be the citizens' "most powerful weapon... to defend the country." Majority or 80 per cent of Ukrainians said in surveys that they support the conduct of early elections.
Poroshenko said the elections will enable the parliament undergo a ""cleansing" mode since many its members "are allies of the militants-separatists."
"Frankly, a lot of Ukrainians feel the parliament is one of the causes of the Ukrainian crisis because some of the most corrupt people are among the people's deputies and some of the deputies are actually sponsoring the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country," Alex Kleimenov of Global Radio News said. "So Ukrainians are embracing this decision by Poroshenko to dissolve it."
However, it remains uncertain how fast the leadership can mobilise resources, conduct elections and elect new leaders most especially in war-torn Donetsk and Luhansk at such short notice.
At least 2,000 civilians and 726 Ukrainian servicemen have been reportedly killed in those areas, according to CBC News.
Meantime, Russia has signified to send a second convoy of humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine to relieve the plight of civilians caught in the middle of crossfire.
Last week, a first convoy of over 200 trucks crossed the border without Kiev's permission. Ukraine's state security chief blasted it as "a direct invasion."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday the items brought by the convoy - food, water and other goods - were distributed Monday by Red Cross workers to the hard-hit rebel city of Luhansk.
Red Cross has yet to confirm the development.
As expected, the U.S. State Department remains dubious of the possible second convoy.
"Any new missions done without the explicit permission of Ukraine would be another provocative measure that would only escalate a situation President Putin claims he wants to resolve," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. "So, you can't say one thing and do another and expect the international community to believe that there is legitimate or credible intentions behind your words."
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