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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Newly elected Ukrainian Parliament sworn in and opened its session

Ukrainian new Parliament during the ceremony of taking an oath
(Image: Ukrinform)
After early parliamentary elections held at the end of October in Ukraine, newly elected Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) has officially sworn in and opened its new parliamentary session. The ceremony was held on Thursday, 27 November, and opened by Oleksandr Turchinov, former Speaker of Parliament. The first session of Verkhovna Rada was attended by all the newly elected MPs, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, three former Presidents of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Victor Yushchenko, representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, civil activists and journalists as well. The ceremony of taking an oath was opened according to the tradition by Yukhim Zvyagilskiy, who is the eldest MP in the new Parliament.

The session of a newly elected Parliament was opened with the speech of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

New parliamentary fractions and groups were also formed during the session. Thus, according to the statement of a new Parliament’s Speaker Volodymyr Groisman, there are the following fractions formed in the new Ukrainian Parliament:

-          Narodny Front (People’s Front) fraction, representing political power of Arseniy Yatsenyuk. This fraction includes 83 MPs and is headed by Oleksandr Turchinov, former Parliament’s Speaker;

-          Petro Poroshenko Bloc fraction, that includes 146 MPs and is headed by Yuriy Lutsenko;

-          Oppositional Bloc fraction, which unites many controversial figures from the currently dissolved Party of Regions. This fraction includes 40 MPs and is headed by Yuriy Boyko, while his deputies are Yuriy Voropayev and Sergiy Lyovochkin, also very controversial figures with strong ties to the regime of the ousted President Victor Yanukovich;

-          Samopomich (Self-Reliance Party) fraction, which represents the new powers and new faces in the current Ukrainian Parliament. It includes 32 MPs and its head is Oleh Berezyuk;

-          Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko fraction has 22 MPs and is headed by its leader Oleh Lyashko;

-          Batkivshchyna (Homeland) Party, which has 19 MPs and is headed by Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukrainian former Prime Minister.

In addition to that two groups were also formed in the newly elected Parliament: Economical Development Group with 19 MPs and the “People’s Will” Group, also with 19 MPs.

New coalition was also formed and announced during the first parliamentary session and it includes Petro Poroshenko Bloc, People’s Front, Self-Reliance Party, Radical Party and Homeland Party and has 302 MPs. Coalition in its turn offered the President candidacies of the new Prime Minister and new Speaker of Parliament. Coalition offered candidacy of Arseniy Yatsenyuk for the position of Prime Minister and candidacy of Volodymyr Groisman for the seat of a new Parliament’s Speaker, and both these candidacies were approved by President Petro Poroshenko.

Mr. Groisman stated that the new government is expected to be formed on Tuesday, 2 December, and that this decision was made by the newly formed parliamentary coalition. Talks regarding the new Cabinet of Ministers’ candidates are ongoing and will continue on Saturday and Monday.