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Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Dissolves Communist Party Following Newly Introduced Rules

RIA Novosti

13:36 24/07/2014

KIEV, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The speaker of Ukraine's parliament, Oleksandr Turchynov, dissolved the country's Communist Party during Thursday's session.

'As of July 1, 2014, this parliamentary party was down to 23 members [from the previous number of 33], which is significantly less than the minimum requirement for parliamentary parties. In this regard and pursuant to Part 4 of Article 60 of the Rules of the Verkhovna Rada, I announce the dissolution of the Communist Party of Ukraine [as a parliamentary party] from the Verkhovna Rada of its seventh convocation,' Turchynov said.

On Tuesday, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, authorized changes of parliamentary procedure to allow the speaker of the house to dissolve any parliamentary party if it numbers less members than is minimally required. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the bill later the same day legalizing the move.

Turchynov requested parliament's procedural committee to consider the dissolution of the Communist Party after some lawmakers accused its members of "helping the militia" in the east of the country, though the Communist Party rejects any such accusation and vows to challenge its dissolution in international courts.

In early May, Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko stated that if he were the head of state, he "would immediately call back all the troops" from the east of Ukraine, condemning the special operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as a "war against the people."

In an interview with RIA Novosti Petro Symonenko said that the Ukrainian Communist Party, despite the pressure from the current government, will participate in the parliamentary elections, which may be held in the coming fall.

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