Opposition leaders in Ukraine rejected top government positions offered by the country’s president.
USAToday reported that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was offered the post of prime minister, tweeted, “No deal @ua_yanukovych, we’re finishing what we started.”
Yatsenyuk is the leader of Batkivshchyna, the biggest opposition party.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met with the leaders of the three main opposition groups on Saturday and offered the position of prime minister to Yatsenyuk and the post of deputy prime minister for humanitarian affairs to Vitali Klitschko, a former heavyweight boxer who is now a leader in the opposition.
Yatseniuk turned the post down, saying the president had not agreed to some key demands of the opposition including the calling of immediate elections. Elections are currently scheduled for next year.
“Negotiations will continue,” said Klitschko.
The protesters led by the opposition also want amnesty for protesters, a change in the constitution to give more powers to parliament over the president, the repeal of a tough anti-protest law adopted Jan. 16, and the signing of a free trade agreement with the European Union.
Protests erupted in Ukraine’s capital last November when the country’s president rejected a free trade deal with the European Union, choosing one with Russia instead.
The protests turned violent on Jan. 19 in response to the harsh anti-demonstration laws passed by Yanukovych and Parliament.
According to USAToday, 41-year-old Tetyana Yakovenko, a protester in Kiev, said, “It doesn’t seem right to me – I joined the protest because I want Yanukovych to go, and so did most of the people here. I’m not sure people will agree to go home just because the opposition gets government positions.”