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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yushchenko Appears to Make Concession in Political Crisis

President Viktor Yushchenko is willing to freeze his order to dissolve the parliament, a chief aide said Wednesday, in what appeared to be a major concession aimed at resolving Ukraine's political crisis.

"The president ... has sent a message that his decree can be halted," said Vitaliy Hayduk, secretary of Yushchenko's Security Council.

Under such a freeze, the parliament apparently would continue working, but a date for early elections would be negotiated. Yushchenko offered to delay the elections until October during a meeting Wednesday with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Gazeta.ru reported, citing officials linked to both the president and prime minister.

Yushchenko had called for elections on May 27 -- just 14 months after the elections in which Yanukovych's party won the largest share of votes.

Yanukovych showed no sign of backing down Wednesday. He told a rally of thousands of supporters that if early parliamentary elections were held, an early presidential ballot must be held at the same time.

Also Wednesday, several thousand supporters of Yushchenko marched to the Constitutional Court and then back down Kiev's main avenue, chanting "Honest Court! Honest Elections!"

"We must help Yushchenko and Ukraine to stand for the choice that we made during the Orange Revolution," protester Svetlana Rohozhyna said.

Later, some 10,000 gathered on Kiev's European Square, where they waved orange flags and tied orange ribbons around their arms as they listened to rock groups.

Yanukovych's supporters gathered on Kiev's main Independence Square. Some 20,000 flag-waving protesters cheered as the prime minister stepped onto the outdoor stage.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who played mediator during the Orange Revolution in 2004, arrived Wednesday in Kiev to meet with Yushchenko and Yanukovych.

During the meeting with Kwasniewski, Yanukovych expressed concern about the situation, saying it could hurt Ukraine as well as its partners, the Cabinet said in a statement.

AP, MT