After voting Saturday to remove President Viktor Yanukovich from office, Ukraine’s Parliament on Sunday named its speaker to serve as acting President.

From Reuters:

The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, the closest confidante of freed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, was temporarily handed the role of president on Sunday following the ouster of Viktor Yanukovich.

Yanukovich abandoned the capital on Saturday, heading to his native east where he denounced what he called a “coup d’état”.

Parliament on Sunday voted to give Oleksander Turchinov, elected speaker on Saturday, Yanukovich’s duties as president.

Parliament previously voted to return to the 2004 constitution, which would weaken the powers of the presidency and restore more powers to parliament.  It also voted to hold new elections on May 25th, according to CNN.

CBS News reports that Yanukovich, however, has maintained that parliament’s recent decisions are illegal.

The whereabouts of Yanukovich since he fled the Ukrainian capital were still not definitively known at the time of this writing.

Via FOX News:

A plane with Yanukovych onboard was denied permission to take off Saturday evening from Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine that is the president’s base of support, the State Border Guard Service said. Oleh Slobodyan of the State Border Guard service told the Associated Press Sunday that the plane did not have the proper documentation. It is not clear what the plane’s ultimate destination would have been. The president was driven off in a car from the airport.

Yanukovych did speak on television Saturday in the city of Kharkiv, near the border with Russia, accusing his opponents of trying to overthrow the government.

“Everything that is happening today is, to a greater degree, vandalism and banditry and a coup d’etat,” he said. “I will do everything to protect my country from breakup, to stop bloodshed.”

However, Yanukovych’s movements have not been accounted for since, and even his spokesman told the Associated Press Sunday morning that he does not know where his boss is.

It seems uncertain where things will go from here.

If you’re just catching up, you can follow previous coverage of events as they unfolded on Saturday at this live coverage link.


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