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You're reading: Ukraine parliament elects speaker after brawls
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Deputies wrestled with each other in a mass of bodies around the main rostrum in parliament after the opposition tried physically to prevent a vote on Volodymyr Rybak’s nomination.

Backed by their traditional communist allies, Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions secured 250 votes – 226 were required – backing Rybak, indicating they were also likely to succeed in approving Yanukovich’s ally Mykola Azarov as prime minister.

In equally rowdy scenes on Wednesday, opposition deputies paralysed the session by encircling the rostrum to sabotage the ruling coalition’s plans to ease Azarov rapidly into a second term as prime minister.

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