Ukrainian Opposition Fails to Oust Azarov Cabinet in Vote

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s government survived its first no-confidence vote after the opposition failed to garner enough support to break a legislative impasse.

The motion in the Kiev-based parliament was backed by 190 lawmakers, short of the 226 needed to pass. Opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk pledged to call another vote against the Cabinet. The opposition controls 173 seats in the 450-member legislature.

Work in parliament has been frozen because the parties of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko and the Svoboda party have been unable to push through a date for Kiev mayoral elections and annul a pension law that increases the retirement age for women as well as the no-confidence vote.

“The pro-presidential party is working to have a stable majority by splintering the opposition and encouraging independent lawmakers to support them,” said Vladimir Zastava, an analyst at Kiev-based Gorshenin Institute, said in a phone interview. “It is motivating independent lawmakers by offering different bonuses and resources.”

President Viktor Yanukovych’s Regions of Ukraine Party came into the current parliament with 185 seats following the last elections. It expanded its control to 207 seats as of today as some independent lawmakers elected in single-mandate districts joined it.

Four members of Tymoshenko’s party quit the group, becoming independent lawmakers, while one was stripped of his powers in a move that the European Union and the U.S. called politically motivated.

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