Ukrainian parliament says yet to receive PM's resignation, work stalls

Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:14am EDT

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KIEV, July 25 (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament said on Friday it had yet to receive a resignation letter from Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk so could not vote on whether to accept it or not, stalling work at the heart of government.

Yatseniuk, Ukraine's point man for the West during much of the turmoil in the country since November, tendered his resignation on Thursday, saying parliament was betraying its people's demands for change by failing to pass legislation.

The move by Yatseniuk, an ally of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, could hamstring decision-making as Ukraine struggles to fund a war against pro-Russian rebels and deals with the aftermath of a passenger plane crash.

The chamber's deputy speaker, Bohdan Koshulynsky, confirmed he had yet to receive Yatseniuk's resignation.

The usually mild-mannered Yatseniuk bellowed at politicians before tendering his resignation on Thursday, saying politicians had failed to pass laws to take control over an increasingly precarious energy situation and to increase army funding.

"History will not forgive us," he said, telling politicians they were at risk of losing the hearts and minds of Ukrainians who had protested for months in the "Maidan" demonstrations in favour of joining Europe and against a pro-Russian president.

He may also have been angered by a move by two other members of the parliamentary coalition for exiting the majority, forcing new elections to a parliament whose make-up has not changed since before the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich.

Yatseniuk is a member of the Batkivshchyna party led by Tymoshenko, who was defeated by Poroshenko in a presidential election in May. He did not attend parliament as it opened its session on Friday.

Tymoshenko's party has seen its ratings fall since late last year and its position as the biggest party in parliament could be weakened if a new election took place. Ukraine's most popular party is now the populist Radical Party, led by Oleh Lyashko. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Timothy Heritage)

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