Ukrainian President considers early elections

Eastern EuropeUkrainian President considers early elections

Ukrainian President considers early elections

KIEV: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is considering calling early presidential elections in the country in a bid to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.

   

Yuriy Miroshnychenko, the president’s personal representative in the parliament, said on Tuesday that the president has spoken at a meeting with politicians last week of “two possible scenarios” to end the two-month crisis.

“The first is the release of occupied buildings and an amnesty [for protesters] and the second is early elections. The amnesty is not working out,” said Miroshnychenko, referring to the release of detained protesters.

The opposition has demanded that the detained protesters be freed unconditionally. However, Yanukovych and his ruling Regions Party say the detainees could only be released if occupied buildings including ministries and regional government offices are emptied within the next days.

Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests after Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on November 29 last year in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Kiev refused to sign the agreement after the EU leaders called on Ukraine to allow jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to travel overseas for medical treatment.

Later, Ukraine and Russia reached a strategic economic and trade deal in December, which provides Ukraine with significant discounts on imported Russian gas and billions of dollars in credit.

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