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Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 19:04 UK

Finance crises delay Ukraine vote

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko  (right)
President Yushchenko (right) has been seeking help from the IMF

President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine has delayed the date of elections by a week to allow parliament to consider a financial rescue package.

The poll will now be held on 14 December, a week later than planned.

Parliament was dissolved two weeks ago after the collapse of the country's ruling pro-Western coalition.

But the country has also been badly shaken by the global credit crunch, with markets and the Ukrainian currency tumbling and banks needing propping up.

The country is seeking a loan of up to $15bn (8.7bn) from the International Monetary Fund to help stabilise the economy.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko warned on Monday that Ukraine was heading for stagnation, with global demand falling for its key exports - steel and chemicals - and banks unable to extend consumer credit.

Ms Tymoshenko - once an ally of the president but now a bitter rival - has been calling for the snap elections to be postponed and for parliament to be recalled.

The other main parties had previously ignored those calls.

Mr Yushchenko on Monday said he would not reverse his decision to call elections, but said: "I am today signing a decree calling back parliament for several days" so that lawmakers could vote on "amendments to the budget and several dozen measures to combat the crisis".


SEE ALSO
Snap election called in Ukraine
08 Oct 08 |  Europe
Ukraine's government falls apart
16 Sep 08 |  Special Reports
Timeline: Ukraine
08 Oct 08 |  Country profiles

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