Ukraine Government Reaches Agreement on Friday


After days of violence, bloodshed and revolt that erupted in the capital city of Ukraine, on Friday, Feb. 21, the opposition and the Ukrainian President reached an agreement to have early elections in the nation to silence the protesters.  However, the Ukrainian protesters are not satisfied yet by Friday’s deal.  According to reports, the protesters said the actions of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych against the protesters, which took lives of more than 100 people, cannot be replaced or justified with just Friday’s agreement.  President Yanukovych had sent armed forces against the angry protesters.

Friday’s agreement allows the Parliament of Ukraine to cut presidential powers and it frees the opposition chief Yulia Tymoshenkoo from prison.  She was an ex-prime minister of Ukraine, and is considered a hero from the revolution of 2004.

The passage of the Friday’s agreement by Ukraine’s constitutional majority marks the turning point of the protest.  The effort to implement the agreement that the Ukraine government reached on Friday along with other leaders, will matter more than just the signatures on the accord.

One of the protesters from western Ukraine, Ivan Shershin, 44, said he supports the Ukrainian government agreement, and Ukraine needs it most at this violent hour as it will calm the protesters’ anger against the Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych.  However, he says, President Yanukoych cannot stay in power until December.  Shershin further calls Yanukovych a “murderer” and believes he should be punished for his crimes.  In November 2013, the protest sparked after Yanukovych signed a pact with Russia and nullified an EU trade pact.  The violence reached its highest levels during this week, and the President’s order to crackdown took many lives.

The Ukraine government agreement between Yanukovych, European Union leaders and the opposition parties meets most demands of the protesters.  The deal ends the violent protest and political crisis that swept the streets of Kiev, Northern Ukraine.  The main parties of Ukraine resist Yanukovych’s ruling party.  According to the pact signed by the leaders, Ukraine will have  an early presidential elections and the parliament of Ukraine will now hold more power over the president.

Furthermore,  Friday’s agreement enumerates the strategies for the coalition government that will start within 10 days.  Hence, Friday’s deal transforms the Constitution of Ukraine.  The Parliament of Ukraine agreed to re-establish the Constitution of 2004 that curtails presidential power, and restores national unity, in addition to further constitutional changes by September.  Moreover, Yanukovych was elected as the president in 2010, and he expanded some of the constitutional powers for himself which now the Parliament cut.  He is considered one of the richest men in Ukraine.

When the Ukrainian government reached an agreement on Friday afternoon, the protesters’ crowd celebrated outside on the streets of Kiev.  Jay Carney, the U.S. White House Spokesman, said that he supports the agreement and wants the Ukrainian parliament to implement the policies listed in the accord.  Furthermore, the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso said the agreement was crucial to stop further bloodshed and restore political order in Ukraine. The government announced its truce on Wednesday officially; however, violence erupted the very next day, and Friday’s agreement tried to bring some peace in the country.  Protesters’ still that demand the President resign, and say he should face penalties for imprisoning ex-prime minister Yulia and slaughtering people on streets.  The interior minister will also be removed for abusing his authority.  Nevertheless, the early election which were suppose to occur in next year will now be held this year, and that will bring the political turnover the Ukrainians seek.

By Iqra Amjad


USA Today

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