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Ukraine parliament working on forming a new government

February 24, 2014, 1:57 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, February 24, 1:53 /ITAR-TASS/. The need to form a parliamentary coalition that will include most of members of the Verkhovna Rada is more and more keenly felt in Ukraine's legislature. The Constitution of the 2004 pattern, which has re-entered into force, stipulates that it is precisely a coalition that shall nominate a candidacy of Head of Cabinet.

MPs say that formally the "coalitiade" (coalition-forming process) has not yet been started. According to MP Oleg Tyagnibok, his faction "Freedom is not yet taking part "in any talks on Prime Minister's candidacy or a coalition".

"There are currently no accords about such personnel-related matters not because we did not reach agreement but because we have not yet discussed these matters," he said.

Tyagnibok pointed out that even if backstage talks can be held, "this does not mean that some understandings have been already reached". It is already known exactly that former Head of Government Yulia Timoshenko, who earlier was released from prison by a parliament decision, has abandoned premiership ambitions.

"I ask not to consider my candidacy for the post of Head of Government," she said on Sunday. Formally, the country's president must refer a premiership candidate's name to parliament. However, in the obtaining situation when the Verkhovna Rada voted for dismissing Viktor Yanukovich from the position of president and for holding a new election to the top state post, this, most likely, must be done by parliament speaker Alexander Turchinov. Earlier, the MPs had appointed him as an acting Head of State.

It is impossible to unblock the process of forming a new government without approving a premier's candidacy. The old Cabinet has already lost almost all ministers appropriate decisions were taken in parliament on Sunday. The political configuration in the legislature itself has seriously changed in recent days, due to, chiefly, a withdrawal of several tens of members from the faction of the Party of Regions (PR). An official in the press service of the Vekrhovna Rada told Itar-Tass that the PR faction membership within several days has decreased from more than 200 down to 131. In the process, the number of non-faction parliamentarians reached 118. The Batkivshchina facton now has 88 seats, "UDAR" 42, Freedom 36, and the Communists' faction 32.

Following the re-instatement of the Constitution of 2004, the "imperative mandate" principle the ban on MPs' transfer from faction to faction has come back as well. A withdrawal from a faction signifies loss of mandate.

Alexander Briginets, a deputy from Batkivshchina, believes that the status of opposition will soon officially devolve on the Regionals and the Communist Party of Ukraine. "I am deeply convinced that there will be no coalition with the PR, although some people publicly discuss such possibilities. We have got enough votes even wthout the Regionals 170 in opposition factions and over 100 non-faction ones. The Communiss and the PR have go to be in opposition to the people, as has been actually the case always," he said.

That the PR does not intend to fight for government seats has been reaffirmed by deputy head of PR faction Sergei Tigipko.

"We do not chase ministerial positions. We shall hold a session of the faction and make a final decision on our participation in a coalition," the politician said.

The MPs are to resume work in a plenary mode at 18:00, Moscow time, on Monday. Turchinov said an agenda for a Rada meeting would be fixed at a joint-conference council of the leadership of factions on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, the atmosphere in the streets gets gradually normalised and is returning to the usual train of events. The central streets of the city are again full of motor vehicles which are parked in some cases haphazardly on the roadsides and on sidewalks, just as previously was the case.

On Sunday, activists began sprucing up Kiev's downtown area, and places which only several days before had been the arean of fierce confrontation.

Vladimir Makeyenko, chaiman of the Kiev city state administration, said that beginning from Monday, the communal services of the capital must begin to dismantle the barricades.

"Beginning from Mondat, we start cleaning Kiev up, removing various barricades. But, of course, this must be done by agreement with city residents who set them up. Step by step we shall move ahead, for the time has come to gather stones," he told journalists on February 23. Makeyenko said, "Kiev is at work, there are no setbacks". "Either in the trasport sphere, comunity services, or in the provision of food," he added.

An official in the city administration press service told ltar-Tass that the Kiev-based general educational and preschool institutions located in the central part of the city "will again begin working as usual".

The press service official said the "Maidan Nezalezhnosti" (Independence Square) metro station is to reopen on Monday.

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