Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 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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