Conflict among party members at start of Ukraine parliament term

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Conflict among party members at start of Ukraine parliament term

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In Ukraine, ruling party and opposition members started the first session of a new parliamentary term with the national anthem.

During their singing, some opposition deputies shouted “killer” at Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko, who is in charge of the police.

Government ministers walked out in protest.

Some opposition members showed their disagreement as the parliament leader got up to speak.

Oleksander Yefremov, the leader of the parliamentary section of the ruling Party of the Regions, referred to the kerfuffle at the start of his address.

“This is a dead end, and I therefore suggest that we forget all the grievances, victories and defeats, our careers and instead join efforts to work out the strategy of getting out of the current situation,” said Yefremov.

One of the opposition leaders, Vitaly Klitschko, called on everyone to follow the civilised path.

“It is our obligation to fulfil the will of the people,” said the boxer-turned-politician. “It is our obligation to listen to them. And one of the ways to solve this problem is to redistribute power in the country because the current monopoly led to the situation we find we’re in now.”

After weeks of anti-government unrest, opposition leaders want a return to the 2004 constitution which would reduce the president’s power and give parliament greater control over the formation of governments.