Ukraine’s Parliament, called the Rada, has voted to oust the government of Prime Minister and nominal winner of the presidential election Viktor Yanukovych in a secret ballot, attempting to force an end to the political crisis that has gripped the former Soviet republic for ten days:
Ukraine’s parliament Wednesday voted to sack the government of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich to help end a political crisis triggered by his contested election last month as president.
In parliament, 229 deputies, three more than required, voted in favor of sacking Yanukovich, declared winner in the Nov. 21 election, denounced by opposition rival Viktor Yushchenko as being tainted by fraud.
Deputies also voted to create an interim “government of national trust.
This resolution may prove to be of little value; as I’ve mentioned before, Ukraine’s PM is appointed by the executive, not the legislature as in other parliamentary democracies. However, what essentially amounts to a no-confidence vote in the Kuchma and Yanukovych government delivers a body blow to their public-relations efforts. The same Rada earlier rescinded an explicit no-confidence vote in the Central Election Commission when the Communists joined the Kuchma government in an attempt to force Yanukovych into power, but this secret ballot appears to demonstrate that the earlier vote may have been based on some arm-twisting.
The vote also demanded that a new interim government be formed, one of national “trust” to shepherd the political crisis to an end. That means Kuchma will have to name a new PM, one that the inflamed Rada will accept, for the transition to either a recast second round of elections, which is what Yushchenko wants, or a rerun of the entire election, which is what Kuchma holds as his fallback position. It’s rather doubtful that anything except the former will convince the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians on the streets to disband.