President Viktor Yanukovych speaking in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday after abandoning his office to protesters. (AP Photo / Regional Administration of Kharkiv)
Ukraine’s parliament, now controlled by government opposition leaders since President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, passed a number of speedy measures Saturday, the most important being his removal from office. The Eastern European country’s only remaining functioning government organ, parliament is attempting to piece Ukraine together again by ridding it of the current administration and holding elections as soon as possible. Meanwhile, former president and Yanukovych “arch adversary” Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been held as a political prisoner since 2011, was freed Saturday, publicly stating, “The dictatorship has fallen ... thanks to those people who came out to defend themselves, their families and their country.”
Ukraine’s parliament has voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovich from office, hours after he abandoned his Kiev office to protesters and denounced what he described as a coup.
The impeachment, which was backed by 328 of the 447 deputies, argues that Yanukovich abused his powers.
The Ukrainian parliament, which decisively abandoned Yanukovich after loyalists defected, declared on Saturday the president constitutionally unable to carry out his duties and set an early election for May 25.
Deputies in the assembly stood, applauded and sang the national anthem.