KIEV, December 3 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has accepted the resignation of the government led by Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov.
Azarov tendered resignation following his election to the national parliament on October 28. Since the resignation of the prime minister entails the resignation of the entire government, the president dismissed the Cabinet. At the same time, he instructed the current government to carry on until a new government is formed.
The prime minister is appointed by the president with the consent of more than a half of the MPs.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tsigipko tendered his resignation.
A new Ukrainian government will be formed after the candidate for the post of prime minister has been determined, Yanukovich said earlier.
“When the candidate of prime minister is determined definitively, the formation of a new government will then certainly start,” he said.
“I can’t give a 100 percent definitive answer now about how the government will be formed since negotiations on a parliamentary majority are still underway. We are looking for motives to create a broad-based majority in the parliament – the broader the coalition in the parliament, the better,” the president said.
However, he noted that “there no final answer to this question yet”.
The law does not require the government to resign after parliamentary elections. However many ministers from the Azarov government were candidates to the parliament and were elected from the ruling Party of Regions.
Yanukovich said that all ministers who were elected to the parliament and who wish to work there will be able to do so. “Their wish will be satisfied,” he added.
After the parliamentary elections, Azarov provided the president with a list of Cabinet members elected to the parliament for dismissal. Apart from Azarov, there were also Deputy Prime Ministers Sergei Tigipko and Boris Kolesnikov, Education Minister Dmitry Tabachnik, Justice Minister Alexander Lavrinovich and Minister of Housing and Utilities Anatoly Bliznyuk.
As for Minister of Economic Development and Trade Pyotr Poroshenko and Emergencies Minister Viktor Baloga, who were elected in majoritarian constituencies, they should personally tender resignation, as Baloga has already done.
If the president accepts the resignation of the prime minister, the whole government will have to resign. To become MP, elected members of the Cabinet have to resign from their current positions before December 3.
Political scientists say that Azarov has at least three competitors: National Bank Chairman Sergei Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky and Security and Defence Council Secretary Andrei Klyuyev.
Experts believe that Azarov “has no reason to worry” as he has every chance to retain his job if the socio-economic situation shows no signs of dramatic deterioration.
Khoroshkovsky’s sharp comments on the budget crisis in Ukraine, which he made on the Inter television channel he controls, can be regarded as an indirect sign of the fight for the post of prime minister.
Prior to that, he argued with Azarov over Ukraine’s membership in the Customs Union. Khoroshkovsky believes that this would “run counter to legislation”, while Azarov said this point of view did not represent the position of the government.