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UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL SURVIVES VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE... The parliament on 22 February failed to pass any of the five proposed votes of no confidence in Prosecutor-General Mykhaylo Potebenko. Potebenko's opponents failed to muster the 226 votes necessary to approve the no confidence motion and oust him. The no confidence resolutions were either boycotted or opposed by pro-presidential caucuses of the Labor Ukraine, the Revival of Regions, Solidarity, the Social Democratic Party (United), and the Popular Democratic Party, as well as by the Greens and Yabluko. The Communist Party caucus also refused to vote. Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko commented: "We do not intend to defend Potebenko, but we will also not participate in settling scores between clans." The opposition accuses Potebenko of dragging his feet in the investigation of the disappearance of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze. JM
...WHILE OPPOSITION LEADER WARNS AGAINST 'OLIGARCHIC MAJORITY.' Anatoliy Matviyenko, leader of the opposition Sobor Party, believes the failed attempts to pass a vote of no confidence in Potebenko testify to the fact that an "oligarchic majority" has been formed in the parliament. Addressing the parliament on 22 February, Matviyenko congratulated parliamentary speaker Ivan Plyushch on the formation of that majority. "I warn you against a threat of losing [our] independence. The hundred [lawmakers] who voted [for Potebenko's ouster] is part of the [real] opposition and pro-Ukrainian force," Matviyenko added. JM
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER SEES NO CRISIS. Ivan Plyushch said on 22 February there is no crisis in the parliament, Interfax reported. According to Plyushch, even if the Fatherland Party caucus (32 deputies) quits the progovernment majority as it has suggested it may do (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 February 2001), the majority will still have 253 deputies who are sufficient to pass "effective decisions." Commenting on the current anti-Kuchma protests, Plyushch said they are weak. "There is no need to think about some violent methods [to deal with those protests]," Plyushch added. JM
U.S. CONGRESSMEN GIVE HEART TO UKRAINIAN LEADERSHIP. Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives on 22 February met with Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yushchenko in Kyiv, Interfax reported. "We informed [Yushchenko] that the U.S. supports the Ukrainian leadership, and that we share the democratic principles on which Ukraine's Constitution is based," Pennsylvania Republican Curt Weldon told journalists. According to government spokeswoman Natalya Zarudna, Weldon told Yushchenko that political scandals are no news for the U.S. "We permanently experience scandals, and we permanently have problems [despite] the 200 years of democratic development," Zarudna quoted Weldon as saying. JM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SEEKS FBI HELP TO SOLVE CORPSE MYSTERY. Leonid Kuchma has urged investigators to seek the help of the FBI to identify the headless corpse that is at the center of the case of missing journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, Reuters reported on 23 February. "President Leonid Kuchma has called on the Prosecutor-General to work with Federal Bureau of Investigation experts who should use their expertise to identify the corpse," the president's office said in a statement. JM