Today in the VR deputies voted to cancel the planned countrywide May 30th local elections ostensibly because of lack of funds. Elections costs are normally covered by the treasury but this year's state budget has not yet been passed due to constant obstruction by PoR deputies and president Yushchenko.
In total, 250 deputies supported today's motion - 169 from PoR, 32 from NUNS, 27 Communists, 17 Lytvyn bloc, plus 3 others. [This could well be the shape of a new VR coalition.]
The motion is legally most dubious - the periods of office of Ukrainian oblast and city councils are clearly specified in the country's constitution [Article 141] and laws cannot be passed retroactively.
The Committee of Ukrainian Electors NGO are "outraged" by the decision calling it the "height of political cynicism".
Rising political star Serhiy Tihipko was quick to respond: "I think this is a very bad signal to us Ukrainians, and to the whole world. The argument of postponement in the absence of a budget is laughable. What if the deputies do no pass any budget? ..the country is reduced to a regime of manual control, freezing all political life." Tihipko considers the deputies decision to be a blow to Ukrainian democracy and was instigated by a fear of new politicians who received an unexpectedly large number of votes in the recent presidential elections.
Yanukovych and timid PoR deputies clearly have no confidence that they can build on their narrow victory in the presidential elections next May. Not a good start..
p.s President Yushchenko is supposed to be the guarantor of the constitution - wonder what he will say..