Ukraine's parliament set to vote on amnesty laws for detained protesters

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Ukraine's parliament set to vote on amnesty laws for detained protesters

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Attention focuses on Ukraine’s parliament for a second day when politicians debate an amnesty for protesters arrested during the two months of unrest.

It is part of the concessions made by President Viktor Yanikovych which began with Tuesday’s annulment of controversial anti-protest laws and the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet.

But the amnesty may prove a more problematic issue.

Oleh Tyahnibok, Opposition leader of “Svoboda” faction explained:

“The opposition wants the amnesty law to be passed, of course we do. But the the ruling party insisted that they will adopt this law only with conditions: The protesters should leave all the administerial buildings immediately and that the streets should be unblocked. We haven’t agreed with this.”

Pro-Yanukovych members see the break up of protester camps as an overdue restoration of law and order.

Mykhailo Chechetov for the ruling “Party of Regions” expressed his frustration with the protesters:

“The country hasn’t been working to its full capacity for ages due to the political crisis – let the country get back to work!”

Anti-government protesters aren’t going anywhere soon. They now have a long list of demands they want addressed as anti-government protester ‘Vitaly’ explained:

“They (the government) think these concessions will be enough for people, but what I think is that most of us want the resignation of Yanukovych, the special the riot police to be dissolved and for those members of the police who killed and tortured people, to face justice.”

What began a protest over Yanukovych’s move towards Moscow has grown to include anger at corruption, police brutality and the structure of power.

The opposition now wants to evoke the spirit of the Orange revolution calling for a return to the 2004 constitution which reduces the powers of the president.