Ukraine's parliament has narrowly passed a no-confidence motion in the government of pro-Moscow Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
By just a handful of votes in the secret ballot Wednesday, lawmakers chose to dismiss the government. Minutes earlier, a non-secret vote failed to pass the same motion.
Parliament's decision came shortly after outgoing President Leonid Kuchma said he supports holding an entirely new presidential election, rather than repeating the runoff that created the crisis threatening to split Ukraine.
Mr. Yanukovych was announced as the winner of that November 21 runoff, but pro-Western opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko said the election was rigged, and he demanded a new election. The Supreme Court is deliberating the matter.
European and Russian mediators are in Kiev for efforts to resolve the crisis.