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Ukraine's Constitutional Court Postpones Hearing on Dissolution of Parliament


Ukraine's Constitutional Court has postponed until April 17 its hearings on the legality of President Viktor Yushchenko's order dissolving parliament and scheduling new elections.

The announcement followed complaints by five of the court's 18 judges of pressure against them and calls on authorities to provide them with additional security. The hearings had been scheduled for Wednesday.

Earlier, Mr. Yushchenko again told Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych new elections are the only way out of the nation's political crisis. The two men met for talks in Kyiv.

Thousands of Yanukovych supporters demonstrated in Kyiv protesting the president's decision, which the government has rejected.

One pro-government demonstrator said she opposes Mr. Yushchenko's pro-Western aims, such as NATO membership for Ukraine. Mr. Yanukovych seeks closer ties with Russia.

Mr. Yushchenko ordered the dissolution of parliament after accusing Mr. Yanukovych of illegally persuading pro-presidential lawmakers to join his coalition.

Tension between the president and prime minister has been simmering since 2004, when the two men were rivals in a controversial presidential election.

Mr. Yanukovych won that election, sparking huge street protests by Yushchenko supporters, who called the vote fraudulent. A court ordered a new election, which Mr. Yushchenko won.

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