Ukraine President Asks PM to Resign

VOA News

Ukraine’s president has asked the country’s prime minister to resign in the face of what is perceived as the government’s failure to fight corruption and overcome an economic crisis.

President Petro Poroshenko’s surprise request Tuesday followed opinion polls that showed growing public disenchantment with the government of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Yatsenyuk’s resignation would have to be approved by Ukraine’s parliament. The legislative body has already considered holding a no confidence vote on the government after first listening to Yatsenyuk’s report for 2015 and his agenda for this year.

Signatures of 150 lawmakers are needed to hold a no confidence vote, which could lead to national elections if the coalition government cannot agree on a new cabinet.

Recent opinion polls showed that 70 percent of Ukrainians supported Yatsenyuk’s ouster and only one percent backed his People’s Front parliamentary bloc.

A favorite of the West, the 41-year-old former banker and passionate foe of Russia, had vowed to clean up government by cutting its ties to tycoons, but soon voters grew suspicious that he was backing the interests of the billionaires he had promised to cut off.