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Ukraine Announces Early Elections

February 21, 2014

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced electoral and political concessions Friday after a week of deadly clashes between government forces and anti-government protesters in the capital city of Kiev.

In a statement posted to the presidential website, Yanukovych wrote:

"I am announcing steps that need to be made in order to restore peace and avoid more victims of the standoff. I am declaring that I will initiate early presidential elections. I will also initiate the reinstatement of the 2004 constitution with the redistribution of powers in favor of a parliamentary republic."

After three months of anti-government protests and a week that saw the deadliest violence "on both sides of the barricades," Yanukovych wrote that it is his duty "to declare in loving memory of the dead that there is nothing more important than human life."

Yanukovych also announced that a government of national confidence would be formed.

In response to the announced elections and political reform, the Maidan Council approved the signing of the agreement. Svoboda Party leader Oleh Tiahnybok announced Friday: "The session of Maidan's Council is over. It was decided to approve the decision on the need to sign the agreement but on the condition that we do not see Interior Minister Zakharchenko in the next government and will not see Pshonka as Prosecutor General in the near future." The agreement has not yet been signed.

[Interfax Ukraine News Agency]

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Original headline: Ukrainian president announces early presidential elections, ...


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