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Violent scuffles in Kiev over delayed Mayoral elections

Violent scuffles in Kiev over delayed Mayoral elections
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Opposition activists have clashed with riot police outside the city council in Ukraine’s capital during protests at the lack of elections since the Mayor of Kiev resigned last year.

They say council politicians should not be making any decisions as they are no longer elected, and tried to disrupt the legislative session inside.

Demonstrators set fire to a model of the council building and hinted they might not protest peacefully in the future. One man taking part said: “Until now the stand-off remained mostly peaceful as you can see. But if some extra actions are called for – you will see alternative actions”.

Inside the council building, MPs from the opposition party came from parliament to halt proceedings while MPs from the ruling party tried to stop them. In the end the session had to be closed down.

Euronews correspondent in Ukraine, Evgeniya Rudenko said: “The opposition is claiming victory in managing to force the closure of the Kiev Council session. However councillors insist that the body’s mandate is still valid, and they are just going on a planned holiday. When Kiev will hold elections is the big unanswered question.”

The opposition party argue the council’s five year mandate is up and they are not elected to continue any longer. At the moment, Kiev’s city council is being run by a civil servant appointed by the president.

Elections can only be called by parliament. It is stalling and claims there is no need to hold elections until 2015 when they take place throughout the country.

In last October’s parliamentary election, the ruling Party of Regions lost out in every constituency in Kiev.

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