Crimea Parliament Dissolves Government, Elects Pro-Russia Chair

Russia Today is reporting The Supreme Council of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea dissolved the current government and elected Crimea's Russian Unity Party leader Sergey Aksyonov as the new chairman.

Fifty-five out of 64 MPs voted for the government’s dissolution. The decision was announced by parliament official Olga Sulnikova.

The decision to dismiss Crimea’s Council of Ministers was supported by 55 out of 64 Crimean MPs. The no-confidence motion came as a result of “unsatisfactory” work by the regional government in 2013, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Anatoly Mogilyov, was also dismissed. The leader of Crimea’s Russian Unity party, Sergey Aksyonov, has been voted in as the new chairman, RIA Novosti reports. The pro-Russian politician was supported by a majority of 53 MPs of the Crimean parliament, with 64 MPs taking part in the vote out of 100.

This comes on the same day Ukraine implemented a new cabinet in Kiev after they ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych on February 22. Crimea identifies as Russian considering the fact over 58% of the residents are ethnic Russians. After Yanukovych was deposed Crimea announced they are loyal to Russia and immediately kicked out their Kiev-appointed mayor for a Russian mayor.

Crimea also announced they would vote on the Autonomous Republic on May 25, which is the same day Ukraine will hold presidential elections. 

On May 25, Crimeans will vote “yes” or “no” on whether the“Autonomous Republic of Crimea has state sovereignty and is a part of Ukraine, in accordance with treaties and agreements.”

Earlier the presidium of the Crimean parliament have announced that they are confident "that only by holding an All-Crimean referendum on the issue of improving the status of the Autonomy and expanding its powers Crimeans will be able to determine the future of the Autonomy on their own and without any external pressure.”

As a result of “the unconstitutional seizure of power in Ukraine by radical nationalists supported by armed gangs,” Crimea’s peace and order is “under threat,” said Oksana Korniychuk, the press secretary of the head of the parliament.

On Wednesday, pro-Kiev protesters countered the pro-Moscow protesters and fights broke out. An elderly man was found dead from an apparent heart attack. The ethnic Ukrainians and Muslim Tatars are fighting against Russia in Crimea. The Muslims dislike for Russia stems back to Stalin's deportations and Russia President Vladimir Putin's wars in Chechnya. 

Ukraine's parliament warns separatism could make them and Crimea vulnerable. After Arseniy Yatsenyuk was formally elected prime minister he made it known they would not tolerate any form of separatism.

"We are committed to the territorial integrity and unity of my country," Yatsenyuk said. "And the new government will do everything and use all legal means to stabilize the situation in Crimea and to convince the entire world and all Ukrainian neighbors that Ukraine is a sovereign united country and no separatism is allowed."

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