Fear and loathing in Ukraine’s new parliament

Naked women and broken fences. Several brawls and plenty of insults. Watching the first day of the new parliament is almost like watching a reality show, except for the grim thought in the back of one’s mind that this collection of squabbling people will make the country’s laws for the next five years.

The new parliament, elected on October 28, convened for the first time on December 12. But even a full working day was not enough to elect a speaker or confirm a prime minister – the two key votes that were expected on the first day.

The Verkhovna Rada members, however, vowed to stay in session all night on December 12, if necessary, to at least elect a new speaker. They failed.

Read the full story in The Kyiv Post.

(Outside parliament, Femen – the famous group of topless female protesters – took off their clothes in front of the Rada to protest against the incompetence and corruption of the nation’s lawmakers. The demonstrators were quickly arrested and carried away by police officers. Photo: femen.org)