Yesterday, we broke out what was happening in Kiev, and laid out that there were two options: President Viktor Yanukovych backs down, or he cracks down harder. It looks like, however, that the Parliament made the decision for him, and they’re siding with the protesters.
So, Yanukovych quit?
No, in fact he had little to do with today’s Parliamentary actions aside from signing off on them. But any way you slice it, this is a loss for Yanukovych and his backers.
What’d the Parliament do?
Essentially they passed a “compromise”, which is a compromise in the sense that Yanukovych is not forced to resign and is still allowed to run for public office. But in a series of actions, it did a lot to meet the demands of the Euromadian movement, including:
- Not just paroling Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Prime Minister and Yanukovych’s key political rival, but also wiping her criminal record; this means she can run for office in the Ukraine.
- Took steps to return the Ukrainian constitution to its 2004 draft; although this is far from the full return the protesters wanted, it does have the effect of reducing the powers of the office of the President. They also instituted early elections.
- Passed a blanket amnesty for all protesters and their actions.
- Fired the minister of the interior, widely blamed for the excessive police violence during all this.
If all of this reads like the Parliament chose to bum-rush Yanukovych right out of office, that’s not unintentional.
So will the violence end?
Good question. The protesters don’t necessarily trust the Parliament all the way, although the fact that Yanukovych comes out the loser here certainly helps matters. Many don’t just want Yanukovych to be reduced in powers, they want him out of public office, and it’s hard to blame them.
Does this mean we’re done with violent revolution in the world for a while?
Unfortunately, no. Not with what’s happening in Venezuela. But it does, at least, mean a civil war is likely averted in one part of the world, and that’s a relief for everyone.