UKRAINIAN President Viktor Yanukovych yesterday announced early presidential elections and a compromise agreement with the pro US-EU ‘opposition’.
He said that the constitution of 2004, which limits presidential powers, will be returned. This was one of the main demands by the opposition.
Yanukovych also said he will start the process of creating a national unity government.
The government and the opposition leaders had been negotiating a deal throughout Thursday night, overseen by a group of EU foreign ministers and envoys, lawmakers and a Kremlin-appointed mediator.
This followed a day of armed struggle between the police and right-wing pro-EU mobs that had seen 80 people killed.
One of the conditions for the deal’s implementation is an end to the violence that has engulfed the country.
Measures agreed in night-long negotiations with opposition leaders also include the formation of a unity government.
However, opposition leaders, who took part in drawing up the Yanukovych statement, have not publicly accepted the ‘compromise’ measures and only a few have signed the agreement.
In fact, their mass of armed followers have brought reinforcements into the capital and large quantities of arms and ammunition to storm the parliament.
The right-wing mobs insist that their minimum programme is Yanukovych resigning, his replacement by a ‘revolutionary government’, and the arrest of the President pending a state trial for his life.
‘I declare the initiation of early presidential elections. I also invoke a return to the Constitution of 2004 with the redistribution of powers in the direction of a parliamentary republic,’ says the official statement on the presidential website.
‘I summon to begin formation of the government of national trust,’ declared the Ukrainian president.
This is not enough for the Ukrainian right wing.
The draft peace agreement between the Ukrainian authorities and the united opposition specifies the major steps needed to be taken towards ‘national reconciliation’.
It declares the formation of a new coalition government must be fulfilled within ten days.
In addition, the resolution bans the use of firearms against demonstrators.
The feeling in Kiev is that the opposition leaders will not agree to what they negotiated and the various nationalist and fascist movements that have taken over the streets will insist in the struggle being fought to a conclusion.
Meanwhile, the EU and the US will carry on condemning and sanctioning the government. In fact, they have already decided on the composition of the next government.