KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian parliamentary speaker revealed in a Ukrainian national Inter television interview Friday evening that President Viktor Yanukovych has threatened to dissolve parliament.
According to Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Chairman Volodymyr Rybak:
"If the parliament continues to behave this way and announce recesses all the time, and if the parliament doesn't pass legislation necessary for the state and for our voters… The president said: 'I will have to appeal to the people of Ukraine that we don't need such a parliament, and I will hold consultations with the faction leaders and the parliament leadership and will sign a law on dissolving the parliament.' ...Therefore, I cannot rule out such a scenario."
Parliament convened two emergency sessions on January 28 and January 29 to repeal anti-protest laws and to pass a limited amnesty law. The parliamentary sessions were part of an attempt by the Ukrainian government to appease protesters, who are calling for constitutional reforms and a more balanced government power structure.
Opposition leader Vladimir Klitschko has said that President Yanukovych's resignation would be "a logical step."
Demonstrations began in November 2013 following the president's announcement that Ukraine would not join the EU and have continued for months, despite the freezing temperatures and threat of violence. Protesters at Euromaidan rallies, led by the government opposition parties, have voiced their opposition to Ukraine's economic ties to Russia and have demanded the removal of the president.
[Interfax Ukraine News Agency]