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UKRAINIAN PRO-PRESIDENTIAL GROUPS PROCLAIM FORMATION OF PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY... Lawmaker Volodymyr Pekhota read a statement in the Verkhovna Rada on 27 September saying that the nine pro-presidential groups -- the Party of Entrepreneurs-Labor Ukraine, Ukraine's Regions, Social Democratic Party-united, European Choice, Democratic Initiatives, Popular Democratic Party, Power of the People, Ukraine's Agrarians, and People's Choice -- and independent deputies set up a parliamentary majority that "will assume the responsibility for legislative activities and the creation of a coalition government in accordance with the president's proposals regarding the implementation of political reform," UNIAN reported. The statement threatens that if the opposition continues to disrupt the work of the parliament, the newly created majority will reappoint parliamentary committees. Presidential representative Oleksandr Zadorozhnyy said the majority currently consists of 226 deputies (the minimum amount required to adopt laws) and is open for other lawmakers. According to UNIAN, the majority includes 216 deputies from the pro-presidential caucuses, nine independent lawmakers, and one legislator from the opposition Communist Party, Heorhiy Kryuchkov. JM
...BUT ITS PRACTICALITY MAY BE DUBIOUS. The previous day, the Verkhovna Rada passed several resolutions and bills with votes of 226-228 from the pro-presidential groups and some other deputies, but speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn has not sent any of them to the president for approval, UNIAN reported on 27 September. The parliamentary Regulations Committee, headed by Communist lawmaker Valentyn Matveyev, protested that some deputies illegally voted for 14 colleagues (using their magnetic voting cards) who are currently either in official trips or on sick leave. According to Matveyev, the voting in the parliament on 26 September was invalid. The opposition Communist Party, Socialist Party, and Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc caucuses as well as Our Ukraine continue to boycott voting, demanding that the parliament immediately address the current political crisis in its debate. JM