KIEV, February 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Early elections of Kiev’s mayor and deputies of the Ukrainian capital’s city council will be held on May 25, Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada said in a resolution adopted on Tuesday by 331 votes, amid political turmoil in the country where the president has been ousted following violent protests.
Galina Gerega, the secretary of the Kiev city council, tendered her resignation, the council reported Monday. Gerega was interim mayor of Kiev after Leonid Chernovetskyi stepped down ahead of schedule in 2012, Ukrainian media reported.
Earlier, the Ukrainian lawmakers decided that early presidential elections would be held on May 25 as well.
On Sunday it was reported that the governors of Ukraine’s Lvov, Ternopol, Volyn, Ivano-Frankovsk, Zhitomir, Nikolayev, Kirovograd, Poltava, Vinnitsa, Kiev, Zakarpatskaya, Sumy, Chernovtsy and Chernigov regions had tendered their resignations.
Ukraine has been hit by anti-government protests, which often turned violent, since November 2013. A new wave of riots started February 18 and eventually caused President Viktor Yanukovych to flee his residence outside Kiev. The Verkhovna Rada took over, appointing its new speaker, Alexander Turchynov, as acting president, and set early presidential elections.
Yanukovych called the developments “a coup.” His exact whereabouts are unknown, but acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Monday Yanukovych had been in Crimea (south Ukraine) on Sunday. Avakov said Yanukovych was on a wanted list.
According to the latest data from the Ukrainian Health Ministry, 82 people have been killed and 726 turned to the Ukrainian capital’s medical institutions for help, with 491 of them hospitalized, since the start of the latest violence on February 18.