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Yanukovich agrees to create coalition government

February 12, 2014, 19:57 UTC+3 KIEV

Earlier, Yanukovich offered the post of prime minister to Arseny Yatsenyuk, head of the opposition Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party’s faction in the national parliament

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© ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Klimentyev

KIEV, February 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has agreed to create a coalition “apolitical” government, Parliament Speaker Vladimir Rybak said at a meeting with a NATO Parliamentary Assembly delegation led by its President Hugh Bayley on Wednesday, February 12.

“The head of state has agreed to the creation of a coalition Cabinet of Ministers. It’s still possible. The country cannot live without a government,” he said.

Rybak stressed, however, that a new government should be “apolitical and should prioritize only economic problems.”

“This is where we will be moving,” he added.

At the same time, he said the opposition’s demand that it be granted the right to form a new government was “an ultimatum and diktat.”

 Earlier, Yanukovich offered the post of prime minister to Arseny Yatsenyuk, head of the opposition Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party’s faction in the national parliament. The latter said the opposition was ready to assume responsibility in the country, provided it formed the whole government.

The Ukrainian authorities and the opposition have so far failed to come to agreement on how to resolve the current political crisis in the country and still disagree on key issues such as constitutional amendments limiting the president’s powers, on the premier candidate and composition of a new government.

The president’s representative in the parliament Yuri Miroshnichenko said the probability of holding an extraordinary meeting of parliament this week to discuss constitutional reform was “close to zero.” At the same time, he said that a meeting with parliament and faction leaders would take place before the end of the day. “It will depend on the outcome of the talks being held today,” he said.

Another MP Vladimir Oleinik of the ruling Party of Regions said no extraordinary session of parliament would be held on Thursday or Friday. “There is no draft law to consider today. So there is no reason to hold a session,” he said, adding that the work on constitutional amendments had come to a dead end.

The MP believes that the nomination for the post of prime minister would most likely be submitted to parliament next week.

On the whole, he described the dialogue between the authorities and the opposition as constructive. “As a party to the negotiations I can say that we have a dialogue, but it is extremely difficult because the range of possible solutions is limited, especially for those who represent the opposition and act on the strength of the Maidan (protests),” Miroshnichenko said.

Earlier in the day, Nikolai Tomenko of the Batkivshchina party suggested signing a political agreement between the authorities and the opposition. It should be signed, on the one hand, by the president of Ukraine or chief of staff of the presidential administration, and on the other hand by opposition leaders and Maidan activists as observers,” the MP said.

He believes that the agreement should have seven points, the first of which is to release protesters who have been detained or sentenced.

Tomenko also suggested penalizing those responsible for “murders, grave crimes and tortures,” adopting a new version of the constitution that would proclaim the parliamentary-presidential form of government in Ukraine, forming a new parliamentary majority and a new government, holding new presidential elections, and finally signing the Association Agreement with the European Union.

The parliament is scheduled to convene for its next plenary session on February 18.

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