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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL AIDE ACCUSES SPEAKER OF CRIMINAL OFFENSE. Presidential Secretariat head Viktor Baloha has requested that the Prosecutor-General's Office examine the activity of Oleksandr Moroz in the post of parliament speaker following the withdrawal of opposition lawmakers from the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainian media reported on June 25. "There are all grounds to believe that, following June 2 when parliament lost its legitimacy, Mr. Moroz is clearly exceeding his authority and abusing his office in his actions," the presidential press service quoted Baloha as saying. "It is a crime described precisely in Article 364 of the Criminal Code, which refers to an official using his authority and powers to inflict substantial damage on state interests protected by law. Such actions entail severe punishment in the form of imprisonment from two to eight years and a ban on assuming some positions for three years." Baloha reiterated President Viktor Yushchenko's argument that the Verkhovna Rada became illegitimate after 169 lawmakers from Our Ukraine and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc gave up their parliamentary seats on June 2, thus bringing the number of deputies in parliament below 300. "The desire to influence the position of Moroz with the help of the Prosecutor-General's Office is an act of political helplessness," the Socialist Party, which is headed by Moroz, responded in a statement later on June 25. The Verkhovna Rada under Moroz's leadership decided earlier this month to end its ongoing session on June 27 and begin a new one on September 4 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," June 20, 2007). JM
UKRAINIAN ELECTION COMMISSION ASSIGNS REGIONS TO ITS MEMBERS. The Central Election Commission (TsVK) on June 25 adopted a resolution allocating Ukraine's regions to individual supervision by its members during the preterm parliamentary elections on September 30, Interfax-Ukraine reported. As expected, regions in the east, the south, and the center of Ukraine, which account for a majority of Ukrainian voters, were assigned to eight TsVK members representing the ruling coalition. The opposition's six TsVK members will supervise regions in the west of the country. TsVK head Volodymyr Shapoval, who was appointed by President Yushchenko, was not given any special regional assignment for the snap elections. Anatoliy Pysarenko, who represents the opposition in the TsVK, said that the regional assignment of responsibilities within the TsVK is unfair for the opposition. "This decision has brought us to our knees or even made us lie on our stomachs," Pysarenko noted, predicting that such an assignment will encourage vote rigging. "However, we agreed to this because we do not want to disrupt the elections," he said. It was the first valid sitting of the TsVK, following the approval of its renewed composition by the Verkhovna Rada on June 1. JM