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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yushchenko Insists on Early Vote

KIEV -- President Viktor Yushchenko told Ukraine's prime minister on Tuesday that the only way out of the political crisis gripping the country was to hold early parliamentary elections, the president's office said.

Yushchenko's latest round of talks with Viktor Yanukovych ended with the president again refusing to back down from his order to dissolve the parliament and call new elections.

Yanukovych and his parliamentary majority have called the order unconstitutional and refused to obey it. They have appealed to Ukraine's Constitutional Court, which is set to begin hearings Wednesday.

Five of the 18 judges said Tuesday that they would refuse to participate in the hearings, citing pressure on them from the Yanukovych camp. The hearings, which are scheduled for Tuesday, can still proceed because the court only needs a 12-member quorum.

Some 20,000 of Yanukovych's supporters -- waving party flags and holding portraits of the prime minister -- protested the presidential order on Kiev's Independence Square.

Meanwhile, more than 100 supporters of Yushchenko's Our Ukraine bloc gathered in nearby European Square to guard a stage for their rally in support of the president's dissolution order. That rally is slated to begin Wednesday.