Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Ukraine speaker elected amid brawls

Ukrainian politicians fight during the first session of the country's newly elected parliament (AP)

Ukraine's newly elected parliament has chosen a pro-government speaker amid violent brawls between supporters of the president and opposition politicians.

The Party of Regions led by President Viktor Yanukovych secured a slim majority in the Verkhovna Rada following an October election condemned as unfair by the West.

But three opposition parties made a strong showing and vowed to challenge Mr Yanukovych's grip on power.

Some took that literally. For the second day of the new parliament's work, fists flew.

Opposition politicians and pro-government legislators wrestled with each other and some deputies were knocked over in the melee.

After a break, Yanukovych ally Volodymyr Rybak was elected as speaker.

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