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Ukraine’s parliament may send PM to resignation on Thursday — lawmaker

March 21, 8:28 UTC+3 KIEV
Reports say Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko and Verkhovna Rada (parliament) speaker Vladimir Groisman are the key candidates for Ukraine’s prime minister
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Protesters with a poster comparing Arseniy Yatsenyuk to Ukraine's previous prime minister Mykola Azarov (archive)

Protesters with a poster comparing Arseniy Yatsenyuk to Ukraine's previous prime minister Mykola Azarov (archive)

© Sergey Reznik/TASS

KIEV, March 20. /TASS/. Leader of the pro-presidential Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction in Ukraine’s parliament Yuri Lutsenko said on Sunday he hopes the parliament will hold an extraordinary session on March 24 to send Arseniy Yatsenyuk's government to resignation.

"I hope next week, probably on Thursday [March 24], we will be able to hold an extraordinary session to vote for a new prime minister, a new government and a new program of actions," he said in an interview with the Inter television channel.

He ruled out a third office term for the current prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. "Consultations are currently underway on the format of a future cabinet," he said.

Earlier, the chief of the presidential staff Boris Lozhkin said that Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko and Verkhovna Rada (parliament) speaker Vladimir Groisman are the key candidates for Ukraine’s prime minister. "Active talks are underway on the formation of a new coalition or keeping the old one in the Rada. The question is not in whether Yatsenyuk is going to step down, the question is whether we will have a new coalition and whom it will back. The key candidates now are Jaresko and Groisman. The choice will depend on who will be supported by three parliamentary factions," Lozhkin told Eadio Vesti.

He said consultations will be continued next week and it is highly unlikely that another candidate could be nominated.

Jaresko however said she was not planning to leave her post to take the premier’s office. "I don’t have premiership ambitions. My goal is to help the Ukrainian people as the finance minister, in my case. Let things happen as they will," she told journalists on Sunday.

The ruling coalition in the Ukrainian parliament initially comprised five parties, namely the pro-presidential Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Samopomoshch, Batkivshchina, the Radical Party and the prime minister’s Popular Front. The Radical Party quitted the coalition in the autumn of 2015. Following the Verkhovna Rada’s failure to send the Yatsenyuk government to resignation on February 16, another faction, Batkivshchina, and a number of lawmakers with the pro-presidential Petro Poroshenko Bloc and Samopomoshch also withdrew from the coalition stripping it of the majority of 226 votes needed to pass decisions.

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