An extraordinary session of the VR took place today and produced a rhetoric-laden address by the VR to the nation. The VR have significantly 'upped the ante' in their battle with the presidency.
I've loosely translated some bits to give a flavour of the address:
"The danger of citizen's discord and loss of statehood has been hung over Ukraine. The reason - an attempt to realize a state coup in the guise of premature termination of parliamentary authority...
Viktor Yushchenko is attempting to blackmail the Constitutional and other courts, terminate the work of parliament, and force the government to submit to illegal steps. He is forcing the SBU [security service] and army into anticonstitutional and illegal acts - surveillance of deputies, members of the government, Central Electoral Commission, and Constitutional Court judges are taking place...
Provocative acts of civil disobedience are being directed by headquarters led by the head of the Presidential Secretariat.
An open struggle for power is taking place...
They are [quite] capable of frittering away the massive receipts from privatisation, of dragging the gas-transport system to bankruptcy, getting into astronomical debt with foreign [creditors], raising the price of meat, sugar, gasoline and other goods, and provoking the growth in tariffs and prices of communal services by their troublemaking.
A full-blown counteraction is taking place against the attempts of parliament and government to strengthen the economy and financial system.
The 'avantyurysty' [political troublemakers] understand that a steady increase in the welfare of people is the main task and practical result for the parliamentary coalition and government, leaving them with no perspectives [for the future.]
We warn the president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko and all those organizing the conflict, that they will be held responsible for the consequences [of their actions].
We support simultaneous early presidential elections, early parliamentary elections, and the holding of a referendum [to determine] the nation's wishes concerning entry into NATO.
We call on all of those who wish to live in a prosperous democratic country, who want to have guaranteed work, wages, pensions, and student grants, want to have guaranteed medical services and a peaceful life, to support the parliament and government, created on the basis of your choice. "
I suspect a significant portion, if not majority of the electorate will take quite weary and cynical view of this. They know well that most of the 450 VR deputies are there primarily to look after themselves and their business interests. The evidence is in the VR car park [where you can find a choice selection of some of the world's finest automobiles] and in the height of the walls of deputies' dachas. But that doesn't mean that they don't have clear views on which political bloc to support.
The VR has also initiated an attempt to sack the minister of Defence Anatoliy Hrytsenko, and the leadership of the SBU. The proposal was submitted by the VR Socialist fraction leader Ivan Bokiy. The Socialist will have most to lose in the event of early elections.
In a counter-move, 'Nasha Ukraina' have appealed to all state institutions, to Ukraine's citizens, and to the world community not to react to today's, and to any further addresses or dicisions made by VR depties of the now 'disbanded' parliament. NU's appeal was made by new party leader Vyacheslav Kyrylenko who said that all acts and decision made by the VR are now illegitimate.
Ukrainian politics is a 'zero sum game'. No-one is prepared to make the smallest concession without gaining something in return. Yulka T will be telling the pres, 'Go for it Viktor!'
Yushchenko's advisers are no doubt working on a 'fall-back' position in case the Constitional Court ruling goes against the pres. Perhaps they will challenge the VR constitutional reform bill #4180 which was passed without strict adherence to the constitution in order to resolve the O.R. crisis. Part of this bill included an 'imperative mandate' obligation for VR deputies: they would have to remain with the party on whose list they were elected, or lose their mandate.