( Reuters ) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday extended by one day a deadline for parliament to approve a series of laws vital for holding a snap election intended to end a long-running political crisis.
The pro-Western president's web site said he had issued a decree giving the parliament another day, until the end of Thursday, to approve the measures -- hours after debate in the chamber bogged down after midnight in acrimonious exchanges.
Yushchenko, pitted against Moscow-leaning Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich in a struggle for power, then left on a planned two-day visit to Croatia.
Yushchenko dissolved parliament by decree last month and ordered the snap poll. An election date of September 30 was agreed by the two rivals last weekend after weeks of wrangling.
The president on Wednesday accused "certain forces" of trying to derail the election. He had originally suspended his decree to give the fractious parliament two days -- Tuesday and Wednesday -- to approve the legislative package.
Much of the evening debate focused on objections from Yanukovich's allies to the president's call to bar parliamentarians from switching parties once elected.
Other rows centered on the voters' list and a proposal for a minimum poll turnout, rejected by the president's allies.
The president called the election after accusing Yanukovich, whose power base is in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, of illegally poaching supporters to expand his majority in parliament and change the constitution.