The major players in Kyiv are officially setting their sights on the upcoming presidential election. President Yushchenko has proposed a January 17, 2010 election date, a position supported by Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. Yuliya Tymoshenko's parliamentary party has proposed an earlier election date, December 27, 2009. President Yushchenko is looking for the next plenary session scheduled for next week to resolve the timing of the presidential election; Tymoshenko's party plans to propose changes to the legislation on presidential elections.
These exchanges are the opening salvos in the presidential race. The timing could affect turnout, with BYuT's proposed date falling before the major winter holidays and the president's proposed date falling just after them (Старый Новый год will be on January 13, 2010). But, this debate is minor compared to the battles yet to come.