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Parliament refuses to vote on dismissal of Lytvyn (updated)

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July 6, 2012, 12:23 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

None of the people's deputies present in the session hall on Friday voted to put the issue of the resignation of Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn on the agenda.
© AFP

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has refused to put on the agenda the issue of the resignation of Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn.

None of the people's deputies present in the session hall on Friday voted to put the issue on the agenda. Four MPs voted against it. There are a total of 267 MPs in the sitting hall.

According to the parliamentary regulations, a vote cannot take place if the issue is not on the agenda.

"So, we've made a decision. Let's congratulate Volodymyr Mykhailovych on a vote of confidence," First Deputy Verkhovna Rada Chairman Adam Martyniuk said.

Earlier, the head of the Regions Party parliamentary faction, Oleksandr Yefremov, said that his faction would vote against putting the issue on the agenda.

The People's Party faction also objected the decision of Volodymyr Lytvyn to resign from the post of the head of the parliament.

"I and our faction don't support this decision," People's Party faction MP Kateryna Vaschuk said on Friday. Vaschuk added that one should not underestimate the role of the Verkhovna Rada. "I understand the actions of Volodymyr Mykhailovych Lytvyn," she said.

The MP said that the parliamentary majority should think well before tackling the issue. "Our decision today has to me wise… We have to finish our cadence in a worthy manner," Vaschuk said.

As reported, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the bill on the principles of the state language policy initiated by the Regions Party on July 3. The document significantly expands the sphere of use of Russian and languages of other national minorities in the regions where they are used by at least 10% of population.

One of the authors of the bill, Vadym Kolesnichenko, said that the Regions Party wanted to make Russian an official language in Ukraine through the Constitutional Assembly.

The opposition claimed that the document was passed with multiple violations. On the next day after the vote, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn and his deputy Mykola Tomenko resigned. Lytvyn said that he was absent from the vote on the language bill, as he had a meeting with the president at that time.

"I was deceived, Ukraine was deceived, the people were deceived," he said.

"A former friend of mine, with whom I used to break bread, has betrayed me. Absolutely," Lytvyn said pointing at Martyniuk.

The voting card of Tomenko was also used to vote for the language bill, although Tomenko was absent from the hall during the vote.

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