Snap Election Called in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko dissolved Parliament and called for a snap election, weeks after the collapse of his coalition government. It will be the third general election in the former Soviet state in less than three years. In a televised speech, Yushchenko blamed the collapse on Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a former ally who he claims has put her own personal goals ahead of the good of the country.
The president did not set a date for the new election but, under the constitution, it is meant to be held within two months of parliament being dissolved.
"I am convinced, deeply convinced that the democratic coalition was ruined by one thing alone - human ambition," he said in his five-minute speech.
"The ambition of one person. Thirst for power, different values, personal interests taking precedence over national interests."
In an apparent reference to Russian influence, Mr Yushchenko also talked of "external threats".
Tymoshenko has countered by claiming that Yushchenko has violated the country's constitution.
Andrei Portnov, deputy chief of the Tymoshenko Bloc in parliament, condemned the president's decision as "unconstitutional and senseless".
"What happened today was 100% provoked by the president, who is the one standing behind the coalition's collapse," he said.
"We will not vote for any bill legalising these anti-constitutional acts of the president."