Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk announces resignation amid political crisis
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced his resignation after weeks of a political crisis in the Eastern European country.
The premier said in a televised address on Sunday that he would formally submit his resignation to parliament on Tuesday.
“I decided to resign from the post of Ukraine’s prime minister. On Tuesday, April 12, the decision will be submitted to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament),” Yatsenyuk said, adding, “Since now, I see my goals broader than the powers of the government head.”
The outgoing premier stressed that destabilization would be “inevitable” in Ukraine if a new government was not formed.
He said his party, the Popular Front, would continue to remain a part of the ruling coalition in the parliament.
The resignation came two months after Yatsenyuk’s government almost narrowly dodged a no-confidence vote, which provoked various political parties to leave the ruling parliamentary coalition. On February 16, the motion got 194 votes in the Verkhovna Rada, falling short of the 226 votes required to oust the prime minister.
In recent weeks, protesters have held rallies outside the parliament in the capital, Kiev, calling for the resignation of Yatsenyuk over what they perceive to be his government’s failure to fight graft.
The protest was organized by the Ukrainian nationalist Svoboda Party and the Party of Ordinary People.
Yatsenyuk’s government has come under increased pressure due to allegations of corruption and the slow pace of anti-corruption reforms.
Yatsenyuk was a leading figure during a 2014 political campaign demanding pro-EU changes in government policies and vowed to clean up the government by cutting its ties to shadowy tycoons.
However, people soon accused the former banker of defending the interests of the very same billionaires he had vowed to sideline.
The political crisis in Ukraine also threatens a massive IMF-led rescue package aimed at reviving the country’s shattered economy and slashing its reliance on Russian financial support. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that it may withhold aid to Ukraine if it does not carry out anti-corruption reforms.
In February, Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Minister Aivaras Abromavicius resigned, claiming that substantial quantities of money were being diverted away from the Ukrainian government.