| GEO World|
| Ukraine president postpones elections|
| Updated at: 0800 PST, Tuesday, October 21, 2008|
KIEV: Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko said Monday that he is to delay legislative elections by a week to December 14, recalling parliament to enact emergency measures to fight the global financial crisis.
"I am today signing a decree calling back parliament for several days," he told Ukrainian television, so that lawmakers can vote on "amendments to the budget and several dozen measures to combat the crisis.
The president's decision followed a call by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, in open conflict with Yushchenko, for political parties to meet Monday to form a team able to save Ukraine from the ravages of the economic crisis.
"I call on the Ukrainian president, on all the political forces and leaders of parliamentary factions with a simple and clear proposal," Tymoshenko said Sunday, offering "a strict moratorium on quarrels" between political leaders.
However, top politicians stayed away from Monday's gathering, which was denounced by Yushchenko and Ukraine's pro-Russian opposition leader, former president Viktor Yanukovich, who accused Tymoshenko of simply trying to cling onto power.
Deepening political strains have threatened to overshadow moves to address the financial crisis, which led Ukraine to hold crunch talks Friday on an emergency 14-billion-dollar loan from the IMF to prop up its fragile banking system.