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Ukraine's Radical Party leaving ruling coalition won't affect its work — lawmaker

September 01, 2015, 15:55 UTC+3 KIEV
Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko announced about the party’s withdrawal from the ruling coalition in the Ukrainian parliament
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 Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko

Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko

© Mikhail Palinchak/TASS

KIEV, September 1. /TASS/. Deputy head of Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s faction in the Verkhovna Rada Igor Kononenko has said that exit of the Radical Party will not affect coalition’s work.

"I don’t see another format of the coalition’s work. It is working, and there are enough votes in the coalition today even without the Radical Party. We are able to work and to promote reforms," Kononenko told journalists.

The Radical Party holds 21 votes in the parliamentary coalition of 302 seats. Thus, more than 226 deputies stay in the coalition, i.e. the majority.

Leader of Ukrainian Radical Party Lyashko quits ruling Rada coalition

Earlier today, Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko announced about the party’s withdrawal from the ruling coalition in the Verkhovna Rada.

"I would like to inform about the decision we have just taken at the faction’s meeting. The Radical Party is quitting the parliamentary coalition. Yesterday’s tragedy near the Rada building was organized by security agencies. We think its goal was to discredit political forces," Lyashko told journalists. "We announce our quitting the coalition and going into opposition to the president, the government and the ruling coalition."

He said there was no real coalition in the Ukrainian parliament.

He poured criticism on the activities of President Petro Poroshenko. "We see that President Poroshenko is no better than Yanukovich, or maybe even worse," he said.

Lyashko said that Monday’s Rada voting for amendments to the Ukrainian constitution had demonstrated that an "anti-Ukrainian coalition" of former members of the Party of Regions and oligarch groups had been formed in the Rada and put the blame for that on the current authorities.

In this connection, the Radical Party leader advanced a number of demands. "First. We demand the issue of a special status for Donbas be put for nationwide discussion," he said. "Only the Ukrainian people as a source of authority has the right to decide which country it wants to live in. So, we demand the president, the parliamentary majority and the cabinet of ministers organize such discussion along with the local elections in October 2015."

"Second, we demand law enforces swiftly find those who organized but not only those who was involved in the anti-Ukrainian provocation [near the Rada building]," he said. "The grenade was thrown not only at the National Guard, the grenade was thrown yesterday at the democratic coalition in the Rada, at Ukraine’s future."

Third, "we are not allies but opponents to the policy pursued by the authorities, by the president," Lyashko stressed.

He said his party’s faction "initiates the establishment a ‘Popular Rada’ of patriotically-minded lawmakers at the Verkhovna Rada to defend the Ukrainian constitution."

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Valery Voschevsky from the Radical Party announced his resignation.

"Today, a unanimous decision has been made on leaving the coalition. As a result, the Radical Party cannot have its representative in the government. For me personally, it means I resign as a deputy prime minister," he said.

Along with that, Radica Party leader Oleh Lyashko said the three Rada committee chairmen under the party’s quota would also resign.

The Ukrainian parliament’s coalition included factions of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Popular Front, Batkivshchina (Fatherland), Samopomoch (Self-Help), and the Radical Party.

A possible split in the coalition surfaced in the process of discussion of decentralization-related constitutional amendments advanced by President Poroshenko. The draft won no support from the Samopomoch and Radical Party factions. Poroshenko however ruled out any possible changes in the ruling coalition in the national parliament. The ruling coalition in the Verkhovna Rada would not be reshaped after the vote on Ukraine’s constitution, Poroshenko said on Monday. "You should not believe speculations on this subject. The coalition continues working because it is necessary for Ukraine despite the events in front of the Rada building," Poroshenko said in his address to the nation, commenting on Monday’s parliamentary vote on amendments to Ukrainian constitution. Other options, Poroshenko said, will not be considered even in theory.

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on Monday adopted decentralization-related amendments to Ukraine’s constitution in the first reading. Despite the fact that three ruling coalition factions, namely Samopomoch, Batkivshchina and the Radical Party, voted against the bill, it enrolled support from 265 lawmakers, whereas 226 votes are needed to pass a bill.

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