Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma yesterday conferred with heads of parliamentary groups on ways to overcome the situation created by a leftist boycott of the parliament’s work. On May 28 and 29, Communist and socialist deputies deprived the parliament of a quorum by refusing to attend the sittings scheduled to debate the final draft of the new Ukrainian constitution, which the hard left opposes. The Parliament’s socialist chairman Oleksandr Moroz then suspended the parliament’s work until June 4. Pro-reform forces, including the Liberal, Reform, and Rukh parliamentary groups, increasingly call for the ouster of Moroz as chairman and even for the parliament’s dissolution by presidential decree and new elections — all in the hope of reducing the size of the existing leftist bloc. But presidential advisors believe that dissolution may be unnecessary at this time, given that there now exists a majority of 250 to 260 deputies who support Kuchma’s reform programs in the 422-member chamber. Kuchma and his new prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko reaffirmed during these discussions that acceleration of reforms is "the only road for us." (Interfax-Ukraine, May 29 & 30)
Senior Advisors Discuss Karabakh Conflict Settlement.