Government Could Lose No-Confidence Vote

KIEV, Ukraine -- Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government may lose a no-confidence vote on Friday amid signs the Communist Party may suddenly support the motion, two opposition leaders said Sunday.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov

The motion was demanded by three opposition parties as a condition for diffusing political crisis, and the ruling Regions Party has agreed to put it on vote as part of a deal.

Neither the Regions Party nor the three opposition groups control majority of seats in Parliament.

This makes the Communist Party’s position key to whether the motion is rejected or approved.

“We will vote on the no-confidence on Friday,” Arseniy Yatseniuk, the leader of the opposition Batkivshchyna party, said an interview with local television in Poltava.

“Perhaps, the Communist Party is going to uphold the motion, so in May we may have a new prime minister.”

Oleh Tiahnybok, the leader of the nationalist Svoboda party, an ally of Batkivshchyna, said he also had the impression the Communist Party would back the motion.

He said there were signs indicating some members of the Regions Party had been seeking to replace Azarov with Serhiy Arbuzov, first deputy prime minister, who is close to President Viktor Yanukovych.

“The impression is that the Communist Party was told to vote for the dismissal of Azarov,” Tiahnybok said.

“It looks like Arbuzov is supposed to replace him. It’s a sort of an intricate game.”

A spokesman for the Communist Party on Sunday declined to comment on whether the party would back the motion.

Parliament, which was blocked by the opposition groups since April 3, is due to resume normal sessions on Tuesday, following a compromise between the groups and the Regions Party.

The compromise includes scheduling the no-confidence motion on the government, and also vote on legislation that may lead to the release of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

The compromise also includes efforts to schedule the next Kiev mayoral election and a vote to cancel the government’s controversial pension reform.

The political crisis deepened on April 4 when the Regions Party, joined by the Communist Party and some independent lawmakers, held a controversial session outside Parliament to approve some 20 bills.

The opposition groups called the session – and the bills approved – unconstitutional.

Source: Ukrainian Journal