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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kravchuk Makes Comeback Amid Corruption Allegations

KIEV -- Ukraine's former president, Leonid Kravchuk, reentered parliament as a lawmaker Tuesday amid allegations of vote-rigging and calls to investigate him for corruption.


Tempers flared in parliament upon Kravchuk's entrance to the assembly's main chamber, and the procedural formality of lawmakers approving the prior election of a lawmaker turned stormy.


Kravchuk -- elected to parliament last September, three months after his failed bid for a second term in office as president -- remained unmoved by the passions around him.


Assailed by both nationalist and communist lawmakers, Kravchuk's status as a lawmaker was approved after thirty minutes of debate by 216 lawmakers, with 81 voting against and 48 abstaining. The decision required 198 votes to carry.


Communist legislator Volodymyr Moiseyenko labeled Kravchuk's 30-month presidency as "the period that brought the Ukrainian people to poverty,'' and demanded that parliament set up a commission to investigate Kravchuk's alleged involvement in corruption.


Ultranationalist lawmaker Stefan Khmara said the legislators should nullify Kravchuk's election due to alleged vote-rigging.


Both demands were rejected by lawmakers.


Kravchuk, 60, lost his post as Ukraine's president last July in a tight race with his former prime minister, Leonid Kuchma.