News / Europe

New Ukrainian Prime Minister Seen Loyal to President

A new parliamentary coalition in Ukraine has approved a prime minister considered loyal to recently inaugurated President Viktor Yanukovych.  But the ousted prime minister says the new government is illegitimate. 

Former finance minister Mykola Azarov, a close associate of Viktor Yanukovych, received a large bouquet of roses from the president after the parliament, the Supreme Rada, approved his appointment as prime minister.  

Two hundred forty two lawmakers in the 450-seat Rada voted in Mr. Azarov's favor.  

Speaking just before the mid-day vote, Mr. Azarov said the country has been plundered, the state treasury is empty, economic decline continues, and the national debt has increased threefold.  The situation, he says, requires a realistic 2010 budget.

Mr. Azarov says Ukraine has reached a critical limit and the situation must be changed.  He adds that the government's task is to give the people responsible, effective and just leadership.

The new prime minister moved to Ukraine from Russia in the mid 1980s and is often criticized for poor command of the Ukrainian language.  But he has served as first deputy prime minister and finance minister and is considered to be an experienced economic manager.

The new coalition was made possible by a vote in parliament Tuesday to amend the constitution to allow lawmakers to ignore party affiliation and to join a coalition as independents.  

Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko said Wednesday the move has not only rendered the constitution worthless, but that any coalition or government formed on such a basis would have no legitimate authority.  

Responding to Mr. Azarov's implied criticism of her government, she said she passes along a worthy economy.  She also recognized the suffering of ordinary Ukrainians as a result of the global economic crisis.

Ms. Tymoshenko says no one could hide from the crisis, not society, not banks, nor businesses or any individual.   She admits to hands-on control of all economic processes during her tenure, saying it was simply impossible to maintain the country any other way.

Mr. Azarov says he would welcome a meeting with his predecessor to discuss cooperation with the opposition, which Ms. Tymoshenko now enters.  Her tenure as prime minister was characterized by frequent infighting with former president Viktor Yushchenko.

The new majority in the Rada has been named the Stability and Reforms faction.  It includes 172 members of President Yanukovych's Regions Party, 27 communists, 20 members of speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn's party, and 12 lawmakers from parties loyal to Ms. Tymoshenko or former President Yushchenko.

The Foreign Ministry in the new government will once again be headed by Kostyantin Hryshchenko, Ukraine's current envoy to Russia and former ambassador to the United States.  He is a professional diplomat and is considered pro-Western.  

The Education Minister will be Dmytro Tabachnyk, a controversial pro-Russian lawmaker whose appointment was reported eliciting a gasp of disbelief among his detractors in Parliament.  In September, Tabachnyk was widely criticized for his article in Russia's Izvestia newspaper that described the Soviet decision to unite western and eastern Ukraine during World War II as a time bomb that brought together peoples with almost nothing in common in terms of mentality, religion, language or politics.  

President Yanukovych drew criticism in Russia this week after announcing he would not promote Russian as a second state language in Ukraine.  

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid