oppositional factions of Batkivchshyna, UDAR and Svoboda have been blocking the
parliamentary lectern since Feb. 5 when this year’s first session was scheduled
to commence. They have been demanding that each member of parliament vote
personally, and stop the unconstitutional practice of multiple voting, dubbed
“piano playing” by Ukrainian media.
Dozens of UDAR
faction members, led by heavyweight world boxing champion turned politician
Vitaly Klitshcko, have been spending nights in the session hall, fearing that
the ruling majority might hold a secret session without the opposition.
On Feb. 22,
minutes after Yanukovych said that according to his information that parliament
had been unblocked, opposition lawmakers unlocked the hall. Oleksandr Turchynov
from Batkivshchyna declared victory for the opposition as the move cleared the
way for a vote on a bill to ensure personal voting is included in parliament’s regulation