Ukraine's parliament begins session to elect PM

Other News Materials 4 August 2006 15:55 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's parliament has started a special session that should put an end to months of political instability by electing a prime minister and other Cabinet members.

Viktor Yanukovych, the head of the pro-Russian Party of Regions, which leads a majority coalition in the Supreme Rada, received President Viktor Yushchenko's backing Thursday for his nomination as prime minister, reports Trend.

A total of 229 out of 449 Rada deputies should vote for his candidacy to be approved.

Yushchenko said Thursday he would attend this special session.

"The Rada is planning to vote for the government [members Friday] afternoon," he said.

Yushchenko said he would appoint the interior, foreign and defense ministers, whereas the other government posts would be distributed between the parliamentary coalition's members.

Yevhen Kushnarev, the deputy head of the parliamentary Party of Regions faction, said the party was sure its leader would be elected premier.

Yanukovych, 56, previously served as premier under President Leonid Kuchma in 2002-2004.

Kushnarev said the "anti-crisis" coalition and some members of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine were expected to vote for Yanukovych.