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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Wed May 14, 2014, 11:07 AM

42. On 2/20 parliament voted 236-2 to condemn the violence, ban the use of weapons against protesters,

236 deputies out of 238 present (...mostly from the opposition and some representatives of the Yanukovich's Party of Regions) voted (first reading) to condemn the recent violence, ban the use of weapons against protesters, withdraw troops and the police deployed against them.

The next day, February 21

A compromise deal was agreed to and signed by both opposition leaders and the president after overnight negotiations. The deal agreed to: a restoration of the Constitution as it was between 2004 and 2010; constitutional reform to be completed by September; early presidential elections no later than December 2014; an investigation into the violence conducted under joint monitoring of the authorities, opposition, and the Council of Europe; a veto on imposing a state of emergency; amnesty for protesters arrested since 17 February; surrendering of public buildings occupied by protesters; the forfeiture of illegal weapons; "new electoral laws" to be passed and the formation of a new Central Election Commission.

Parliament voted unanimously, 3860, to return to the 2004 constitution, and then 3320 in a vote to suspend acting interior minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko, including 54 from the Party of Regions and 32 Communists. A bill was introduced in parliament on the impeachment of president Yanukovych, filed by Mykola Rudkovsky.

By late afternoon, hundreds of riot police officers guarding the presidential compound and nearby government buildings had vanished. Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski described the withdrawal of forces as "astonishing," noting it was not part of the agreement.

Oleksandr Turchynov stated that in fact most of the ministers had disappeared as well as Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko (who is reported to have fled to Belarus) and President Viktor Yanukovych, "The only one legitimate body left is the Verkhovna Rada so we are here to vote today. The major tasks for today are: to vote for the new speaker, prime minister and interior minister." In the Verkhovna Rada, deputies voted 328:0 to set the Presidential election date to 25 May. The action did not follow the impeachment process as specified by the Constitution of Ukraine; instead, the Verkhovna Rada declared that Yanukovych "withdrew from his duties in an unconstitutional manner" and cited "circumstances of extreme urgency" as the reason for early elections. Oleksandr Turchynov was then voted by parliament Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament and acting President and Prime Minister of Ukraine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Ukrainian_revolution#Opposition_leaders_meeting_with_President_Yanukovych

Does not sound like a coup, does it? Several parliament members of Yanukovich's party defected to the opposition resulting in a parliamentary majority opposing Yanukovich and his tactics against the protesters.

Nothing in the February 21 agreement signed by Yanukovich and representatives of the protesters required him to resign his office or to order security forces not to protect government buildings. In fact it allowed him to stay in office until December 2014 when there would be elections, in which he presumably might be reelected. He was still the Commander-in-Chief and was in full charge of the security forces and the military.

Perhaps the parliament should have continued with impeachment proceedings
in abstentia (since Yanukovich obviously was not coming back from Russia for the proceedings). I suppose that most people thought it a waste of time to impeach someone who had abandoned his office already and left the country. The US did not even follow through with an impeachment vote against Nixon after he left office voluntarily.

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