[QODLink]
Europe

Ukraine president repeals anti-protest laws

Yanukovych scraps harsh anti-protest legislation that sparked days of violent clashes, president's website reports.

Last updated: 28 Jan 2014 04:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Weeks of clashes prompted the president to withdraw an earlier legislation banning all forms of protests [AFP]

Ukraine's President Victor Yanukovych has said he will retract laws banning protests, as the opposition stepped up rallies and its leader rejected an offer to become the country's prime minister.

In a statement on the presidential website Justice Minister Elena Lukash said "a political decision was made on scrapping the laws of Jan. 16, which aroused much discussion.'' 

The statement came after a meeting between President Yanukovych and top opposition figures late on Monday. 

The statement also said one of the opposition leaders, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, had rejected Yanukovych's offer to become prime minister.

The rallies, which began more than two months ago, were mostly peaceful and were triggered by Yanukovich's rejection of a pact with the European Union under Russian pressure.

They turned violent, however, after Yanukovych pushed those laws through parliament. Protesters are now aspiring to oust him from power.

Eliminating the laws is likely to be done in a special parliament session on Tuesday.

Anti-government protesters have alreadyattempted to blockade 14 of the 25 regional administrations, including in southern and eastern parts of the nation of 46 million that predominantly speak Russian and share an historical allegiance to Moscow.

The EU has urged dialogue between the two sides, a call echoed by Pope Francis, who voiced hope in his weekly Angelus prayer that "the search for common good may prevail in the hearts of all".

222

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.