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Ukraine leaders make election deal in bid to end constitutional standoff

[JURIST] Ukrainian political rivals [JURIST report] President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; JURIST news archive] and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile] agreed Sunday to hold elections on September 30 in a move intended to end an escalating constitutional crisis in the country. Repeating a call [JURIST report] made earlier this year, Yushchenko said the constitutional confrontation which almost led to violence earlier this week as both men struggled for control of key interior ministry troops [JURIST report] showed that the country's constitution itself needed to be changed: "This is a major problem, this makes one question whether the institutes are based on right principles, whether the balance is correct." In particular, Yushchenko said the country's Constitutional Court had failed to work and the Central Elections Commission had failed to guarantee proper elections. Interfax has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

Ukraine has been mired in a major constitutional crisis since Yushchenko issued a decree dissolving parliament [JURIST report] on April 2. After Yanukovych and parliament filed a legal challenge before the Constitutional Court of Ukraine [official website; JURIST news archive], Yushchenko dismissed three Constitutional Court judges for alleged oath and ethics violations [JURIST report] and appointed replacement judges [JURIST report] without consulting either Yanukovych or the Justice Ministry.

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