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Ukrainian Parliament Fails To Appoint New Premier

Yuriy Yekhanurov (file photo) 20 September 2005 -- The Verkhovna Rada has failed to approve Yuriy Yekhanurov as Ukraine's new prime minister.

Ukrainian media reported that with 226 votes required for approval, his candidacy was supported by 223 deputies.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko appointed Yekhanurov as acting prime minister after he fired Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko's government amid allegations of high-level corruption.

Yushchenko earlier held meetings today with lawmakers in a bid to gather support for Yekhanurov before today's vote.

Tymoshenko, who joined the opposition after being dismissed, had also been meeting lawmakers in a bid to defeat Yekhanurov.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media reported today that investigators have opened criminal cases against leading officials from the country's security service.

Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun confirmed the investigation was under way but did not specify whether former National Security Council chief Petro Poroshenko was being investigated.

Poroshenko was dismissed along with the rest of Ukraine's government earlier this month.

President Yushchenko ordered a special commission be formed to investigate corruption allegations after his former chief-of-staff Oleksandr Zinchenko resigned two weeks ago and accused Poroshenko and other top aides of corruption.

Poroshenko said last night that he was "shocked" when he heard about the investigations.

Piskun said that Tymoshenko was not among those being investigated.


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