Ukraine parliament opens after crushing pro-West poll win

November 27, 2014 10:26 am
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Sergey BalayUkrainian citizens vote at a polling station at the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk on October 26, 2014/AFP
Sergey BalayUkrainian citizens vote at a polling station at the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk on October 26, 2014/AFP

, KIEV, November 27- Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday held its first sitting since pro-Western parties won a crushing poll victory, with lawmakers facing a mammoth task to drag the war wracked nation back from the brink of collapse.

Deputies in the new look Verkhovna Rada chamber sang the national anthem before holding a minute’s silence in memory of those killed in Kiev protests and the conflict in east Ukraine.

They then read in unison an oath to serve the Ukrainian people.

Lawmakers looked set later on Thursday to confirm current Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who will remain in his post at the head of a new pro Western coalition hammered out after weeks of haggling.

Pro European politicians won an overwhelming majority at an October election and agreed last week to form a new coalition led by the parties of Yatsenyuk and President Petro Poroshenko.

The coalition has sworn to stick to Ukraine’s pro Western trajectory in the face of Russian support for a bloody separatist conflict in the east and pledged to pass a law confirming Kiev’s desire to join NATO.

Over 4,300 people have been killed in the fighting between pro Moscow rebels and government forces since April.

The crisis has sent relations between Russia and the West to their lowest ebb since the Cold War.

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