Ukrainian president promises early elections

Ukrainian president promises early elections

President Viktor Yanukovych released a statement on Friday promising to put forward presidential elections in Ukraine, following a day of negotiations.

Protesters walk near one of the barricade on Institutskaya street during continuing protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, 21 February 2014. Photo: EPA/Maxim Shipenkov -

Protesters walk near one of the barricade on Institutskaya street during continuing protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, 21 February 2014. Photo: EPA/Maxim Shipenkov –

“There’s no decision that I would not take in order to restore peace to Ukraine,” he claimed in the statement, which was published in Ukrainian on his official web site.

“I am initiating earlier presidential elections, and a return to the 2004 constitution with a shift of authority towards a parliamentary republic,” he confirmed, without providing a specific time-line.

The statement emerged after 24 hours of ongoing negotiations between Yanukovych and opposition leaders, with the talks brokered by the foreign ministers of Poland, Germany and France.

An interim government is expected to be created within ten days, as a result of the deal.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, one of the three main opposition leaders, confirmed that this had been accepted at about 1.15 pm on Friday.

He said that although it was unclear how long opposition MPs would be allowed to participate in the government, the deal was accepted „for the good of Ukraine.”

The agreement was signed by President Viktor Yanukovych, and opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Vitali Klitschko and Oleh Tyahnybok.

It has been estimated that a least 77 people have died in clashes between riot police and opposition activists in Kiev since Tuesday.

Yanukovych stated that “these tragic days” had brought “huge losses” to Ukraine.

However, outside on Independence Square, anti-government protesters appeared impatient.

“No agreement – only imprisonment,” demonstrators chanted.

There had been a short exchange of fire between policemen and demonstrators at about 10 am. Blows were also struck in parliament between opposition and government MPs, after an announcement this morning that the session would be delayed, but order was quickly restored after the decision was reversed. (nh, the news.pl)

Categories: News in English

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