The first session of Ukraine’s new parliament saw politicians from opposition and ruling parties fighting and climbing over each other to be able to approach the speaker’s stand.
Then two opposition politicians, suspected of being about to defect to the Government, were pushed from the hall. Father and Son Oleksandr Tabalov and Andrei Tabalov were prevented from taking the MPs’ oath. They are accused of letting down voters.
MP Arseniy Yatsenukn from the ‘Batkivshchyna’ or ‘Battle’ party said: “It was not a fight. These people are betrayers, they swore on the Bible, they gave an oath to the Ukrainian people that they will stay with the opposition faction, but they didn’t.”
MP Vladyslav Lukyanov from the ruling ‘Party of Regions’ disagrees: “We’ve already seen some MPs working in different parties and then leaving them for another or becoming independent candidates. There should not be any kind of political slavery.”
As the session began around 100 people gathered for an anti-fascist demonstration outside the parliament building.
Members of the feminist group FEMEN tried to break into parliament to protest about government corruption.
The fighting and protests threaten to push back Wednesday’s vote to endorse Mykola Azarov for a new term as prime minister.