Against this background, Ukraine got a prime minister and new speaker, both in their 60s and both veterans from the pro-presidential Party of Regions.
Those were the achievements from the Dec. 12-13 session of the newly elected Verkhovna Rada. The intensity of the two days hints at what lies ahead: Chaos, with the incumbent power brokers having the upper hand, but facing stronger challenges from a revitalized opposition that gained a solid minority in the Oct. 28 election.
Unable to do anything but fight on Dec. 12, members of the 450-seat parliament reconvened the next day to fight more before finally voting in Volodymyr Rybak as speaker. Mykola Azarov was shortly thereafter confirmed as prime minister, getting 252 votes in the 450-seat legislature.