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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKERS VOW BOYCOTT OVER ELECTION BILL. The parliamentary caucuses of the Socialist Party and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Block said on 2 October that are refusing to vote in the Verkhovna Rada until a draft bill stipulating parliamentary elections under a fully proportional party-list system is included on the current session's agenda, UNIAN and Interfax reported. According to both caucuses, the parliamentary leadership decided on 29 September to include the issue on the legislative docket. Lawmakers from the Socialist Party, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, and Our Ukraine blocked the parliamentary rostrum and brought the session to a halt after parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn proposed another issue for consideration. The adoption of a fully proportional election law is reportedly a sine qua non for the Socialist Party to support a constitutional-reform bill submitted to the Verkhovna Rada last month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 September 2003). JM

UKRAINIAN SOLDIER DIES IN IRAQ. Sergeant Yuriy Koydan, from the Ukrainian contingent participating in stabilization efforts in Iraq, died on 30 September when the BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance vehicle under his command overturned while patrolling an airport in Al-Kut, Interfax reported on 1 October, quoting a Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman. JM