Ukraine’s parliament will try again on Thursday to choose a prime minister after the previous day’s attempt was abandoned amid raucous scenes more reminiscent of crowd trouble at a football match.
The vote on Mykola Azarov’s nomination for a second term will be an early test of support for President Yanokovich.
Boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, leader of the UDAR or Punch party, looked on from outside the ring as politicians from opposition and ruling parties scrapped around the speaker’s rostrum.
Two elected deputies – a father and son – were prevented from taking the oath and physically thrown out after the opposition accused them of defecting to the ruling coalition.
Outside parliament, deputies from the Svoboda far-right nationalists took advantage of parliamentary immunity. Police looked on as they cut down part of a perimeter fence and broke down a door in protest at what they see as parliament’s alienation from the people.
Meanwhile naked feminists from the group FEMEN tried to break into the building, in a demonstration against government corruption.
The protest by deputies from the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) block was tame by comparison. They appeared in the chamber wearing black sweaters bearing the portrait of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, their jailed leader.
Thursday’s parliamentary proceedings promise to be interesting.