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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
Ukrainian president delays poll
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko said the move would give officials more time
Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has postponed the date of parliamentary elections after street protests and concerted opposition from his critics.

In a television address Mr Yushchenko said he was issuing a decree to schedule the elections for 24 June.

He sparked a crisis this month when he dissolved parliament and called snap elections, originally for 27 May.

Key rival, PM Viktor Yanukovych, has opposed the poll delay and an aide said the new date was "unconstitutional".

Mr Yanukovych and his government have blocked funds for the election while they await a decision on the legality of the order from the constitutional court.

Mr Yushchenko said the delay would allow electoral officials more time to prepare the vote, but some analysts believe it is a conciliatory gesture, says the BBC's Helen Fawkes in Kiev.

The president and prime minister have been rivals since the 2004 Orange Revolution which swept Mr Yushchenko to power, overturning a Yanukovych election victory which was widely condemned as fraudulent.

Mr Yushchenko accepted Mr Yanukovych as prime minister last year, but the country has been beset by political deadlock since.


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