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Ukraine's Yatsenyuk voted in for new term

Timothy JonesNovember 27, 2014

At its opening session, Ukraine's new parliament has elected Arseny Yatsenyuk for a new term as prime minister. He has held the post since February.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk (R) welcomes former Prime Minister and newly elected parliamentary deputy Yulia Tymoshenko during the first session of a new Ukrainian parliament, elected in October, in Kyiv, November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Image: Reuters/G. Garanich

The new Ukrainian parliament on Thursday re-elected Arseny Yatsenyuk to the post of prime minister by a large majority.

A total of 341 deputies in the nominally 450-seat parliament voted for Yatsenyuk during the legislative body's first session since pro-European parties won an overwhelming majority at polls in October.

The parliament is expected to choose a cabinet next Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Yatsenyuk (seen above with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko) has been prime minister in an interim capacity since former president Vikotor Yanukovich was ousted amid popular protests in February. The prime minister's People's Front Party came second in the October elections, but joined with the victorious party of President Petro Poroshenko and three other pro-Western factions to form a new coalition government.

Only 390 of the 450 seats in the unicameral parliament were filled at the elections because no voting was held in eastern districts controlled by pro-Russian separatists in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March.

Silent remembrance

The newly convened assembly, known as the Verkohovna Rada, held a moment of silence as the session opened to remember those who have died in unrest over the past year, notably amid the pro-Russian insurgency in the east of the country that has claimed more than 4,300 lives to date.

At least two civilians are reported to have died in fighting within the past day, despite a truce signed in September.

tj/ksb (Reuters, AFP, dpa)