The pro-presidential Party of Regions, with its allies from the Communist Party and many independents, is still very much in charge. The party gathered an impressive majority of 252 votes – 26 more than necessary – to confirm Mykola Azarov for a new term as prime minister. The majority’s candidate for speaker, Volodymyr Rybak, got an impressive 250 votes.
The opposition is energized, spoiling for a fight but lacking discipline, unity and direction – beyond wanting to end the rule of President Viktor Yanukovych, whose speech via video was walked out on by members of the opposition. For now, it seems as though many new members of parliament are excited about having been elected and want to bask in the spotlight of media and public attention.
The entire gathering remains an international embarrassment for lawmakers’ fisticuffs and name-calling. Children in playgrounds across Ukraine act with greater maturity and civility.