Protesters await political changes as Ukrainian parliament elects new speaker
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 01:24
Feb. 22 - Ukrainian protesters remain in Kiev's Independence Square as parliament pushes through several changes, following a deal to end violence and bring early elections. Nathan Frandino reports.
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As protesters patrol the grounds of Kiev's Independence Square, uncertainty fills the air.
After days of clashes in the Ukrainian capital, a deal was reached on Friday to end the violence and bring in new political reforms.
The reforms include early elections and curbing presidential powers.
Protesters who are demanding President Viktor Yanukovich's resignation remain skeptical.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) PROTESTER VLODYMIR SAYING:
"I don't know. Events are developing very fast over the past days so I don't even know what we can expect to happen today. People expect Yanukovich to resign. Otherwise we don't have any other way out."
Inside parliament, political changes are already happening.
The body has elected a new parliament speaker, replacing a Yanukovich loyalist who resigned due to poor health.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) NEW PARLIAMENT SPEAKER OLEXANDER TURCHYNOV SAYING:
"The new authorities in Ukraine are starting to work and are beginning their work again to stabilize the country. The center of power in Ukraine is here in parliament."
The new speaker is an ally of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
She is now being released after parliament voted to change the legal code to free her without a presidential signature.
Yanukovich's whereabouts have remained a mystery since the signing of the deal.
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