(RIA Novosti) - Leader of the Socialist Party Oleksandr Moroz is Ukraine's new parliamentary speaker.
Two hundred and thirty-eight deputies in the 450-seat house voted late Thursday in favor of Moroz, who occupied the post in 1994-1998, reports Trend.
The Supreme Rada resumed work Thursday after the opposition ended its the blockade of the rostrum and reached a compromise with the coalition majority. Yanukovych's Party of Regions had staged a sit-in since June 27 in protest against the allocation of Cabinet and Supreme Rada portfolios by the coalition of three Western-leaning groupings.
Deputies from former premier Yulia Tymoshenko's eponymous bloc and the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc refused to participate in the vote in protest against the Socialist faction. They claimed the Socialists had breached an "orange" coalition agreement, which had a provision to elect a candidate from pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc as a speaker.
The three parties formed a coalition June 22 after three months of negotiations over key posts.
Representatives from the largely pro-Russia Party of Regions, which won the largest share of the March 26 parliamentary vote, said that Moroz's election as parliamentary speaker had drastically changed the balance of political forces in the Rada.
Now, the Party of Regions (186 deputies), the Communist Party (21 deputies), and the Socialist Party (33 deputies) can form a new coalition majority, although the Socialists have been rejecting this possibility so far.
The Rada is to form the government by July 22. After this deadline the president is entitled to dissolve legislature and call new elections, though President Viktor Yushchenko has already warned that holding new elections could be too costly.