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Ukraine's Prime Minister Faces Possible Vote Of No Confidence

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's coalition partners appear set to oust his government.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's coalition partners appear set to oust his government.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is due to address parliament in Kyiv amid signs that his ruling coalition is on the verge of collapse, threatening a no-confidence vote that could bring down his government.

Yatsenyuk's speech comes just hours after his coalition partners in President Petro Poroshenko's party announced they would vote that the government's work has been "unsatisfactory."

That raises the likelihood of a no-confidence vote against Yatsenyuk and the collapse of his government -- setting the stage for fresh coalition talks and possible early parliamentary elections.

All of the parties that originally formed Yatsenyuk's coalition support integration with the European Union and moves to steer the country away from economic and political ties with Russia.

Yatsenyuk's other coalition partners -- the Fatherland party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the Self-Reliance party led by Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyy -- have already signaled they could vote against Yatsenyuk and his cabinet.

That would likely result in the 226 votes required to pass a no-confidence resolution.

The far-right Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko left the ruling coalition in September 2015 in a move that led to highly charged debates about Yatsenyuk's government in December.

Even then, Yatsenyuk's People's Front faction was at odds with its partners from the group loyal to Poroshenko amid growing public discontent over still-rampant corruption in Ukraine.

During the December debates, as Yatsenyuk defended the work of his government, Poroshenko Bloc deputy Oleg Barna presented the prime minister with a bouquet of roses and then physically picked him up and pulled him from the podium -- leading to a fistfight on the parliamentary floor between members of the ruling coalition.

Despite the brawl, the Poroshenko Bloc continued in its tenuous alliance with Yatsenyuk's People's Front into early 2016.

Poroshenko Bloc leader Yuriy Lutsenko later apologized to Yatsenyuk, but said he personally supported Yatsenyuk's resignation.

There are 450 seats in Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, but only 422 deputies were seated after the October 2014 elections.

The other 28 seats have remained unfilled because there was no voting in Russian-occupied Crimea or in some constituencies in eastern Ukraine where Russia-backed separatists have been fighting government forces.

Yatsenyuk's People's Front now has 81 deputies in parliament.

The Poroshenko Bloc has 136 seats, Self-Reliance has 26, Fatherland has 19, and the Radical Party has 19.

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