Ukraine parliament speaker elected amid brawls



MARIA DANILOVA | AP

Published — Friday 14 December 2012

Last update 14 December 2012 8:46 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

KIEV: Ukraine’s newly elected parliament on Thursday approved two presidential allies for the posts of prime minister and parliament speakers in a vote that was nearly overshadowed by a violent brawl between government supporters and opposition lawmakers.
The Party of Regions led by President Viktor Yanukovych and its allies secured a majority in the Verkhovna Rada following an October election condemned as unfair by the West. But three opposition parties made a strong showing and vowed to challenge Yanukovych’s grip on power.
Some took that literally. For the second day of the new parliament’s work, fists flew as opposition lawmakers chanted “Shame! Shame!” and “No to defectors!“
Shortly after parliament began its work Thursday morning, opposition lawmakers swarmed the parliament’s podium and a fight erupted with pro-government legislators. Lawmakers wrestled with each other and some deputies were knocked over in the melee. Opposition lawmakers were angry over the fact that some of their opponents continued the controversial practice of voting in place of their absent colleagues, despite a recent ban.
Yanukovych ally Volodymyr Rybak, a 66-year-old former mayor of the eastern city of Donetsk, interrupted his speech in frustration.
“Esteemed deputies, let us calm down,” he said as the fight continued and he was widely ignored.
After a short break was announced and the fight ended, Rybak was elected parliament speaker.
Later in the day, parliament voted to approve acting Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, a staunch Yanukovych ally, as the country’s premier. Azarov, 64, who has served as Yanukovych’s prime minister for nearly three years, will have to manage an economy heading into a recession, a shaky national currency and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on securing yet another bailout loan for Ukraine.
The opposition refused to take part in both votes and its members stormed out of the hall in protest, leaving Yanukovych to address a half-empty parliament in a video statement.
The chaotic parliament scenes did little to assuage the West’s concern over the state of democracy in this ex-Soviet republic, whose leaders are under fire for the imprisonment of former premier Yulia Tymoshenko deemed politically motivated by the West.
The European Union put on hold a key cooperation agreement with Ukraine over Tymoshenko’s jailing. On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it reiterated that “the country must prove its commitment to genuine democracy before an agreement can be signed.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
RIYADH: Plans are underway to shift the labor dispute commission in the Ministry of Labor to the Ministry of Justice. Related discussions were held here Thursday between Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani and Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani.The disc...
JEDDAH: Drifting has taken a heavy toll of young men who spent their time and energy in the pursuit of this dangerous game for lack of family awareness and guidance.Observers said that the last decade witnessed a dramatic increase in traffic accident...
RIYADH: A mass brawl between migrant workers at a company along Al-Thumama Road broke out in Riyadh on Thursday, causing the death of one worker and the burning of two police vehicles.A Riyadh police source said authorities received a report on Thurs...
JEDDAH: Thousands of expatriates living in Jeddah, who are non-Arabic speakers, were excited about the monthlong 36th Jeddah Festival.The Jeddah and summer festivals this year had a number of theatrical events, entertainment programs, fireworks, arti...
MADINAH: In a tragic Madinah incident, two children died and a woman was injured in a fire which broke out in a house.Capt. Naif bin Mohammad Al-Juhani, spokesman for Civil Defense, said the control room received information about the fire incident i...
JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco said it has financed building 63,000 houses for Saudis through the citizen house owning program implemented by the company. The company said it has granted 1,037 loans to Saudis to build new houses in 2014, stressing that this pr...
RIYADH: A special team of officials from the Ministry of Health, led by Deputy Minister Hamad Aldhwilaa, visited hospitals in the southern border area to ensure that services are available to serve patients in the Asir, Jazan and Najran regions.On ar...
DAMMAM: On April 30 1935, drilling started on test well No. 1 in Dammam. After seven months, only gas was found with traces of oil at a depth of 700 meters. So it had to be plugged. Drilling began on Dammam well No. 2 on Feb. 8, 1936, and started pro...
JEDDAH: A team of doctors at King Abdul Aziz Hospital carried out emergency life-saving surgery on a Kazakh pilgrim who was suffering from a rare disease, on the night of Eid Al-Fitr, according to a website.The 17-year-old Kazakh pilgrim was brought...
JEDDAH: Members of sector committees affiliated with the Council of Saudi Chambers have tried to reach a settlement with the Ministry of Labor that would allow laborers to work on their projects during the day.The attempt was made based on an agreeme...
JEDDAH: The increase in school fees has caused parents to remove their children from private schools and enroll them in public schools in Madinah.With the approaching new school year, many parents were surprised to find that school fees were increase...
RIYADH: The size of the tourism industry has crossed the SR100-million mark with around 130 organizations in the field and the revenues generated through festivals are approximately SR11 billion annually, experts have said. The figures have been prov...
JEDDAH: A total of 105 pay-and-park areas have been opened in the city, including Jeddah historical district, downtown market place, Bab Makkah, Al Andalus Street and Palestine Street.Hani Ahmad Abdullah, media spokesperson for Jeddah Municipality, s...
RIYADH: Moroccan Ambassador Abdussalam Baraka has praised “excellent” trade and bilateral relations between his country and Saudi Arabia and expected the ties to grow further.Speaking on the occasion of Morocco’s National Day on Thursday night, the e...

Stay Connected

Facebook