Ukraine’s PM submits resignation
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned from the office. This means that Ukraine will have fresh elections that would mirror the country’s changed political picture after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.
Yatsenyuk, an advocate of closer relationship with Europe and a key participant in the protests that ousted Yanukovych, made the announcement after two parties said they would withdraw their support to the governing coalition.
The newly elected President Petro Poroshenko, praised the withdrawal of the two parties. Poroshenko’s calls for political renewal indicate that the resignation and new polls are the result of planning and political maneuvering, not chaos.
Yatsenyuk had assumed the PM office just five months back supported by a coalition of pro-European parties. They took power after Yanukovych was driven from office by months of street protests on Kiev’s Independence Square, or Maidan.
The protests triggered over Yanukovych’s denial to sign a sweeping trade pact with the European Union, but aggravated to include wider grievances such as the government’s attempts to crush the protests with riot police, corruption, and lack of progress in modernizing the economy.
The current Parliament was originally dominated by Yanukovych supporters in the pro-Russian Party of Regions. That group has reduced through defections and its members face an uncertain future in fresh upcoming polls.
After assuming office, Yatsenyuk was to run a government almost insolvent and facing the likelihood of taking up unpopular measures to fulfill conditions to get loans sanctioned from the International Monetary Fund. It succeeded in getting the IMF bailout.
The government faces tensions with Russia which termed Yanukovych’s ouster a coup, seized Ukraine’s Crimea region and cut off natural gas supplies in a price dispute.
It has also combated a pro-Russian insurgency in which rebels armed with heavy weapons have seized public buildings and battled government troops. Russia denies supporting the rebels.
The nationalist Svoboda party and the Udar party led by former boxer Vitali Klitschko withdrew their support from Yatsenyuk’s coalition.