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Ukrainian Prime Minister Announces Resignation

Published: July 25, 2014 (Issue # 1821)



  • President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the conclusion of a bilateral meeting at the White House in March.
    Photo: Pete Souza / Whitehouse.gov

KIEV — Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation Thursday, opening the way for new elections that would reflect the country's starkly changed political scene after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

Yatsenyuk, a supporter of closer ties with Europe and a key participant in the protests that toppled Yanukovych, made the announcement from the dais of Parliament after two parties said they would pull out of the governing coalition. He said Parliament could no longer do its work and pass necessary laws.

President Petro Poroshenko, elected to replace Yanukovych May 25, earlier praised the withdrawal of the two parties. He said that "all opinion polls, and direct conversations with people, show that society wants a complete rebooting of the government."

Poroshenko's calls for political renewal suggests the resignation and new elections are the result of planning and political maneuvering, not chaos.

Yatsenyuk took over as prime minister just short of five months ago 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 began over Yanukovych's refusal to sign a sweeping trade deal with the European Union, but swelled to include wider grievances such as the government's attempts to suppress the protests with riot police, corruption, and lack of progress in modernizing the economy.

"I think this is a fully expected and planned development," said Balazs Jarabik, visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The president and the government coalition looked for ways to clear the legal way for an early election, as they are under a lot of pressure from Maidan and the public."

The president can dismiss Parliament for new elections if no new government is formed in 30 days.

The current Parliament was originally dominated by Yanukovych supporters in the pro-Russian Party of Regions. That group has shrunk through defections and its members face an uncertain fate in new elections.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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