Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Ukraine Parliament Approves Azarov As Prime Minister

  • They might have been the first sessions of a new parliament, but Ukraine's lawmakers were back to their old ways on December 12 and 13 when melees on the chamber floor interrupted the proceedings.
  • The inaugural session even came with its own fight card taped to the rostrum, in this case accusing father-and-son opposition lawmakers Andriy and Oleksandr Tabalov of planning to defect to the ranks of the ruling Party of Regions. Both Tabalovs were pushed from the chamber before they could be administered the parliamentary oath.
  • The fracas even spilled outside the chamber.
  • But as you'll see in the following photos, most of the action was inside.
  • If there are going to be fisticuffs in parliament, it's wise to ensconce yourself next to a reigning world heavyweight boxing champion-cum-lawmaker. But Vitali Klitschko (left) sat this this one out entirely.
  • The December scuffles were only the most recent instances of brawls breaking up the legislative proceedings in Kyiv. The last such fracas took place on May 24.
PHOTO GALLERY: Fistfights broke out in Ukraine's new parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in successive sessions on December 12 and 13, as opposition lawmakers tried to block access to the podium following disputed elections and rumors of defections poisoning the air. (19 PHOTOS)
Ukraine's parliament has approved Mykola Azarov, President Viktor Yanukovych's nominee, for a second term as prime minister.

Azarov was endorsed by 252 votes in the 450-seat assembly.

Lawmakers from the opposition Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party, and the Udar (Punch) party of boxing champion Vitali Klitschko did not take part in the vote.

Azarov, 64, has served as prime minister since Yanukovych became president in February 2010.

The vote on December 13 came at the end of a rowdy session that saw opposition and pro-government lawmakers exchange blows for a second day in a row in parliament.

The Party of Regions and its allies control a majority in parliament but opposition parties also made a good showing in Ukraine's October elections.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax

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