KIEV (Reuters) - The Ukrainian government survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Friday, an outcome that reaffirmed President Viktor Yanukovich’s grip on power in the former Soviet republic.
Even with support from some communists, traditional allies of the ruling Party of the Regions, the opposition could muster only 190 votes out of 450 for dismissing Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s government, well short of the required 226 votes.
Azarov is a long-time ally of Yanukovich, who named him prime minister shortly after winning the February 2010 presidential election and re-appointed him last December.
Yanukovich’s party, together with the communists and most non-affiliated deputies, has a majority in parliament, although its foes, revitalized by gains in the October 2012 election, have been able to disrupt proceedings for weeks on end.
This month, however, the Regions reasserted their control over the legislature, ending the opposition’s blockade by holding a session in a different building.
They have also defeated an opposition move to call a mayoral election in the capital city of Kiev - which the opposition had hoped to win - and allowed a non-elected appointee of Yanukovich to continue running the city. Retaining control over parliament is important for Yanukovich, 62, as he prepares to run for a second five-year term in 2015.
Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Richard Balmforth/Mark Heinrich