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Ukraine parliament session disrupted as deputies refuse to vote

April 22, 2015, 13:20 UTC+3 KIEV

Deputies have accused President Petro Poroshenko of attempts to usurp power

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Ukrainian parliament (archive)

Ukrainian parliament (archive)

© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

KIEV, April 22. /TASS/. A session of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has been disrupted as deputies refused to vote on a number of bills, including on nationalization of assets of the Russian Federation and its residents in Ukraine.

Deputies have accused President Petro Poroshenko of attempts to usurp power.

The factions of the Radical Party, Self-Help Party and the Petro Poroshenko Bloc initiated suspension of the session, parliament Speaker Volodymyr Groysman said.

Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko believes "a purposeful policy to discredit Verkhovna Rada is under way". "Today, Poroshenko repeats at a quickened pace the path of [his predecessor Viktor] Yanukovych and tries to usurp power," he said.

"He is using the General Prosecutor’s Office to manage the courts, to prosecute the deputies whom he sees as unwanted. That is why, the lineup of the Constitutional Court has not been changed yet, because ‘pocket courts’ are advantageous for the president. As for jailing those responsible for Maidan shooting - he does not have the guts," Lyashko said.

Only 260 deputies could be seen in the hall of the 450-seat Rada when the session opened on Wednesday morning.

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