Yanukovych suspends his membership in Party of Regions, hands over party leadership to Azarov
Yanukovych suspends his membership in Party of Regions, hands over party leadership to Azarov

Yanukovych suspends his membership in Party of Regions, hands over party leadership to Azarov

Mar 3, 2010 at 21:38 | Interfax-Ukraine
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has suspended his membership in the Party of Regions, which he headed before being elected head of state, and handed over leadership in the party and in the parliamentary faction to Mykola Azarov.

"I have done this for two reasons. Firstly - I was legally obliged to do so, as it is stipulated in the Constitution. And secondly, I do not want to hinder my colleagues, members of the party from conducting an efficient policy," he said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.

Yanukovych said that Azarov is a "unifying figure" in the party. "He (Azarov) is very experienced and once was chairman of the party," the president said.

"I decided to hand over the chairmanship in the party, and in the faction to Azarov," Yanukovych said.

Yanukovych headed the Party of Regions for almost seven years. He was elected the party leader at a congress held on April 19, 2003. He succeeded former vice-premier Volodymyr Semynozhenko in this post.