Ex-world boxing heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko knocks out Ukranian Prime Minister

Posted by News Express | 28 January 2014 | 5,018 times

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Like he did during his days in the boxing ring, former Vitali Klitschko today recorded a knockout in the political arena as the revolution which has him in the forefront this morning led to the resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.

The 42-year-old former World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight champion has in the past few weeks held his country’s government by the throat after leading protesters into the streets in his capacity as the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform. A Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Klitschko, the first professional boxing world champion to hold a PhD degree, became actively involved in Ukrainian politics in 2005 and combined it with his professional boxing career until he hung his gloves in mid-December last year.

Writing on the revolution which he leads, The Guardian of London reported minutes ago that Ukrainian PM Azarov today offered his resignation, saying he hoped the move would help bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis that has gripped the country for two months.

“The conflict situation which has come about in the country is threatening the economic and social development of Ukraine, creating a threat to the whole of Ukrainian society and to each citizen,” the paper quoted Azarov as saying, adding that he had personally asked President Viktor Yanukovich to accept his resignation.

According to The Guardian, “Under the constitution, the departure of the prime minister means the resignation of the entire government.

“Azarov’s statement was released as the parliament opened a special session expected to repeal harsh anti-protest laws that were imposed this month. Yanukovych has been under increasing pressure since he pushed the tough laws through parliament, setting off clashes and protests in other parts of the country in a sharp escalation of tensions after weeks of mostly peaceful protests over his rejection of a deal to deepen ties with the 28-nation European Union.

“Azarov’s resignation has yet to be accepted by the president, but that appears to be only a formality. Yanukovych last week offered the premiership to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, one of the opposition’s top figures. Yatsenyuk turned down the offer on Monday.

“The prime minister’s resignation would remove one of the figures the opposition most despises, and a repeal of the anti-protest laws would remove a severe aggravating factor in the crisis. But the moves stop well short of the opposition’s demands, which include Yanukovych’s resignation.

“Another potential sticking point is that a proposed amnesty for arrested protesters will not be offered unless demonstrators stop occupying buildings and end their round-the-clock protests and tent camp in Kiev’s central Independence Square.

“Protest leaders say scores of people have gone missing, presumably arrested.

“Three protesters died in the clashes last week, two of whom were shot by hunting rifles, which police insist they do not use.”

•Photo shows Vitali Klitschko out in the streets as opposition leader.

Source: News Express

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