Ukrainian opposition rally against president
KIEV - ReutersThousands of supporters of Ukraine’s re-energized opposition movement rallied outside Parliament yesterday to press for early elections for the mayor of Kiev in the biggest such action against President Viktor Yanukovich this year.
A crowd led by the three main opposition leaders marched from the center of the capital to Parliament, called for the release of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and denouncing Yanukovich’s policies. The protesters’ direct target was Olexander Popov, appointed by Yanukovich as head of Kiev city’s administration and now mayor of the capital. The ruling party of the Regions is pushing for the Kiev mayoral election to be delayed for two years until after the 2015 presidential election, in which Yanukovich is expected to win. The last mayor, who left office in mid-2012, was effectively replaced by Popov and opposition leaders are pushing for a vote in early June. The protest came as Ukraine’s leaders hesitate between forging closer ties with the EU or aligning themselves more closely with Russia.