|Protests continue in Ukraine despite PM’s offer to opposition||
Ukrainian opposition leaders called for an early presidential election following a Saturday meeting with the government, where top government posts were offered to protest leaders and a review of the constitution was promised.
The proposal to offer positions within the Ukrainian government to opposition leaders will be considered by all three parties and discussed with the people, Batkivschina leader Arseny Yatsenyuk said.
“We are not rejecting the offer, nor are we accepting it. We are in the midst of serious consultations between all three opposition parties. This is our mutual decision,” he said. “We are ready to take on the responsibility for the country’s future, but only under the conditions that will be set by us.”
The opposition is ready to head up the government and bring Ukraine into the EU, Yatsenyuk added.
“Our task - is a new Ukrainian government ... We accept that responsibility and we are ready to bring Ukraine into the EU, which calls for the release of Yulia Tymoshenko,” he continued.
"Our country is put by those at power to the brink of falling apart...We demand that Yanukovich relieves the position of Ukraine's president and we need a new constitution."
Following the talks, the head of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party, Vitaly Klitschko, said that Yanukovich agreed on many demands. “But we do not step back and demand elections this year,” he told protesters.
Leader of the nationalist Svoboda opposition party, Oleg Tyagnibok, told protesters that those in power are backing down and changing their tune from two days ago.
The government’s negotiations with the opposition have so far yielded no results, which could signal that the standoff between the two sides will continue for the next couple of days.
During the Saturday meeting, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich offered top government posts to protest leaders and promised a review of the constitution - a move aimed at giving more power to parliament.
Yanukovich proposed the post of prime minister to Arseny Yatsenyuk, justice minister Elena Lukash said after the president’s meeting with opposition leaders.
Vitaly Klitchko was offered the post of deputy prime minister for humanitarian affairs.
The president’s offer came as the government struggles to cope with the protests and violence that continue to grip the entire country.
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