Addressing the Ukrainian parliament yesterday at the outset of the fall session, Budget Committee chairwoman Yulia Tymoshenko called for the impeachment of President Leonid Kuchma. Tymoshenko claimed that Kuchma’s August 8 decree on cutting the 1998 budget expenditures violated the constitution. He also made the president liable for prosecution under the criminal code. Tymoshenko also proposed the formation of a parliamentary initiative committee for calling a national referendum to depose Kuchma from office. Ukrainian legislation provides for such a measure. (UNIAN, Eastern Economist Daily, September 2 and 3)
Tymoshenko is one of the leaders of the Hromada Union and of the shadowy business empire constituted around the United Energy Systems (UES) company. Kuchma last year ousted Hromada leader Pavlo Lazarenko from the post of prime minister, curtailed the privileges he had bestowed on UES and ordered investigations against several Hromada-linked businesses for corruption. Hromada holds 44 seats in the newly elected parliament and is allied with the leftist opposition. The latter may use the impeachment threat as a trump card in attempting to override Kuchma’s budget-balancing and other reform decrees.
POLITICAL SIGNALS ON KARABAKH’S INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY.