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Chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar (Punch), Vitali Klitschko, speaks to opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Sergei Chuzavkov/AP/Press Association Images

Opposition leader offered PM job in bid to end Kiev violence

Arseniy Yatsenyuk is being offered the prime minister post, and Vitali Klitschko the position of deputy PM.

UKRANIAN PRESIDENT VIKTOR Yanukovych has offered opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk the post of prime minister and to change the constitution in a bid to resolve the country’s political crisis, the presidency said.

In talks with the opposition, Yatsenyuk was offered the post of government chief in place of current Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, the presidency said in a statement.

“If he (Yatsenyuk) agrees to take the post of prime minister then a decision will be taken for the government to resign,” Justice Minister Olena Lukash said in the statement.

Fellow opposition leader and world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko was offered the post of deputy prime minister in charge of humanitarian affairs, she added.

“The president is convinced that joint work together with the opposition will help the state unite and carry out the necessary reforms for state and society,” she added.

The president also promised to consider changes to the Ukrainian constitution — which currently gives the head of state huge powers — either through a referendum or through legislation, the statement said.

“The sides also agreed that the squares and the streets of Kiev will be gradually cleared of both protesters and security forces,” it added.

The offer raises hopes of a breakthrough in a week-long crisis that has left at least three dead according to officials and raised fears of a prolonged civil conflict.

- © AFP, 2014

Read: Another fatality in Kiev protests as minister warns peace efforts ‘futile’

Explainer: What exactly is going on in Ukraine?

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