The president is on sick leave with “an acute respiratory illness accompanied by a high temperature,” according to a statement posted on the presidential website.
A senior parliamentary deputy from the pro-presidential Party of Regions, Mykhailo Chechetov, said the president “looked ill” while meeting with lawmakers late Wednesday to discuss amnesty for detained political activists.
The presidential administration did not say how long Yanukovych was expected to be off work, or whether he was able to perform his presidential duties in the meantime.
The opposition party Udar said the president’s illness was “an attempt to stay aloof from resolving the current political crisis.”
“By being on sick leave, he can prevent the dictatorship laws from being canceled, shun representatives of the opposition and global community and avoid urgent measures to resolve the political crisis,” the party said in a statement.
“The bill will be submitted to the presidential administration today, and the president will have 15 days to sign it,” the UNIAN news agency quoted Lukash as saying.
She said the bill would be signed into law after the Cabinet of Ministers and the Justice Ministry examine the legislation and inform the president of their conclusions.
Protesters in Ukraine took to the streets in November after Yanukovych backed off from signing landmark trade deals with the EU. The movement has since transformed into a loose coalition of opposition groups seeking Yanukovych’s ouster. Earlier this week, the Ukrainian prime minister resigned, prompting the collapse of the government.
A total of 234 people have been detained amid the unrest, 140 of whom are under arrest.