Ukraine President Seeks to Defuse Crisis, Calls for Early Elections
KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s embattled President Viktor Yanukovich acknowledged the opposition’s victory Friday by initiating early presidential and parliamentary elections and a plan to form a coalition government.
“In these tragic days when Ukraine suffered such heavy losses, when people died on both sides of the barricades, I consider it my duty in solemn memory of the slain to state that there is nothing more important than human life,” Yanukovich said in a statement published on his official website after a meeting with the opposition leaders in Kiev.
“There are no such steps which we ought not to take together to restore peace in Ukraine.”
Among the steps Yanukovich named were early elections for president and parliament, the reduction of presidential powers in favor of parliament and the formation of a coalition government.
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