Ukraine – Russia – Conflict – Politics

Ukraine Parliament Weighs Major Government Overhaul

Ukraine Parliament Weighs Major Government Overhaul
Tue Apr 12, 2016 16:03:23

Ukraine’s parliament was weighing Tuesday whether to approve the resignation of embattled Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as furious backroom talks raged about the makeup of a new pro-EU government.

The volatile political situation in the former Soviet republic took a new twist when the man tipped to replace Yatsenyuk — condemned by President Petro Poroshenko for losing the public’s trust — appeared to balk at his new assignment.

Yatsenyuk’s days had seemed numbered since he survived a no-confidence vote last month that fractured the pro-Western coalition formed after a February 2014 revolution forced the ouster of Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych.

The 41-year-old premier joined the protests and made passionate pro-EU speeches during those turbulent days.

But his party’s approval ratings have slipped to around two percent due to a sense that he done little to overcome corruption or break the stranglehold on politics enjoyed by a handful of tycoons during Yanukovych’s four years in office.

Yatsenyuk announced on Sunday he was quitting the post he had held since February 2014 — a 26-month span during which the economy imploded and a pro-Russian insurgency that has claimed nearly 9,200 lives broke out in the separatist east.

Poroshenko’s party had nominated parliament speaker Volodymyr Groysman to the premiership after deciding that the man known as a coalition-builder could win broad support.

The 38-year-old Poroshenko protege had seemed ready to take on the assignment on Monday afternoon.

“I am good for it. I am able to work 24 hours a day,” Groysman told reporters.

But two lawmakers said Groysman had decided to turn down the job when the president’s party met on Monday evening to determine who should join the new team.

They said Groysman refused to work with several of the figures named because they did not represent his reformist agenda or commitment to austerity measures prescribed by the IMF under its $17.5-billion (15.4-billion-euro) economic rescue loan.

Release of new International Monetary Fund funds is not expected until Ukraine forms a stable new government that follows through on the belt-tightening pledges made when Yatsenyuk helped craft the deal in March 2014, AFP reported.

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