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New Ukrainian President takes the oath. Prime Minister pledges to stay.

25. February 2010 by Gregg 0 Comments

Credit: Reuters/Anastasiya Sirotkina/Pool

President Viktor Yanukovich was officially sworn in today as Ukraine’s 4th President in front of a half-empty Parliament. Pledging to enact a “strategy of innovative movement forward”, the 59 year old addressed the session, which was missing most of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party who had chosen to boycott the event.

Tymoshenko had initially sought to fight the results of the Election in Ukraine’s Higher Administrative Court, but dropped the case after they denied her recount petitions and her request to invite witnesses from polling stations.

Prime Minister Tymoshenko’s party has accused President Yanukovich and former President Viktor Yushchenko of colluding to attempt to bring down Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, with the post of Prime Minister being offered to the former President in return. Tymoshenko has acknowledged that the new President’s government has submitted a bill proposing a “vote of no-confidence”, the step Parliament normally takes to dissolve the Governing coalition and remove the Prime Minister. Her party insists, though, that the new President does not have enough supporters in Parliament to succeed.

The new President has made an odd step by insisting that he only take half the normal salary of a Ukrainian President and reducing spending on Presidential Administration by a full 20% including staff and vehicles. His party has announced that they intend to pass along the money saved to raise the minimum wage and increase retirement benefits.