Ukraine's New Parliament Opens 1st Session, Govt Resigns

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's new parliament on Thursday opened its first session, while the outgoing government submitted its resignation ahead of a coalition taking form in June.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko addresses parliament during the opening ceremony in Kiev Ukraine, Thursday, May 25, 2006

The 450 newly elected legislators were sworn in in the ornate chamber that once served as home to Soviet Ukraine's parliament.

The five parties taking seats in parliament are expected to hold consultations on the formation of a coalition government within a month.

According to law, Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov announced the resignation of his government. The parliament, however, empowered him to head a care-taking cabinet until the new government is set up.

The parliament decided to hold another session on June 7 to elect parliamentary leaders and discuss the formation of a government.

At Thursday's session, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko told law makers that he hoped the new parliament and the coalition government in the making would give full backing to his reform initiatives.

The new parliament faces the grave task of improving the systemof political power and the legal environment to ensure economic growth and national unity, Yushchenko said.

Ukraine held parliamentary elections on March 26. The Party of the Regions won the most votes, but failed to obtain a majority, forcing the country into difficult coalition talks.

The other parties to make it over the barrier were those of ousted Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, President Yushchenko's bloc, the Socialists and the Communists.

Source: China View