Ukraine’s opposition has announced forming a parallel government upping the ante in its confrontation with President Viktor Yanukovych.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a leader of the Batkivshchyna Party, said he had turned down Mr. Yanukovych offer to appoint him Prime Minister and that opposition leaders reached a joint decision to form their own government.
“My reply to Yanukovych is this: I’m not to be bought over, Mr. President, like you buy your stooges,” Mr. Yatsenyuk told a rally in Maidan, the Independence Square on Sunday.
“Opposition will form its own government. This is a joint decision of the opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko,” he said.
“Our government will work for the goals formulated here on Maidan: rooting out corruption… pursuing integration with Europe, freeing all political prisoners and Yulia Tymoshenko, and holding honest presidential elections,” Mr. Yatsenyuk said.
Ms. Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna Party, is serving a seven-year prison term for abuse of office.
Mr. Yatsenyuk demanded that the Parliament takes a vote on Tuesday on returning to the 2004 Constitution, which truncated presidential powers. He rejected the ruling party’s proposal to set up a parliamentary commission to reach a compromise decision on constitutional changes.
The opposition’s decision to form a parallel government means it is renouncing talks with Mr. Yanukovych. The decision was announced a day before Mr. Yatsenyuk and another opposition leader, Vitali Klitschko, travel to Berlin for crucial talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.