Yanukovich's allies try to tempt Ukraine protesters with amnesty

by Reuters
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 21:35 GMT

KIEV, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Lawmakers loyal to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Wednesday offered an amnesty to people detained in the wave of anti-government protests - but only on condition that activists vacate occupied buildings in Kiev and other parts of Ukraine.

The opposition refused to cast their votes on an amnesty law, which Yanukovich loyalists hope will help de-escalate two months of street unrest.

But it squeezed through with 232 votes, six more than that required.

The text of the law was not available but its author said the offer of an amnesty for those detained by police was conditional on the City Hall in Kiev being cleared of protesters as well as regional administration buildings in several cities across Ukraine.

Yuri Miroshnichenko, a Yanukovich loyalist, said it would only come into force once these premises had been vacated.

Though it did not appear to call for barricades or tents to be removed from the main protest zone in Kiev, the law, at first glance, did not seem to be likely to be heeded by protesters.

The law was passed apparently under the personal influence of Yanukovich himself who went to the emergency parliamentary session and held closed door meetings with party factions. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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