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Ukraine: Parliament Rebuffs Kuchma's Plans To Axe Top Banker

Kyiv, 28 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine's parliament today rejected a proposal by the president to replace the chairman of the country's National Bank. President Leonid Kuchma on 25 November proposed removing Volodymyr Stelmakh from the post he has held for the past two years, ostensibly for guiding bank policies that have damaged economic growth.

But Kuchma's proposal fell 12 votes short of the 226 needed in the parliament vote today.

Observers, including the International Monetary Fund, had voiced concern that the planned changes at the bank were a result of political negotiations and a threat to central-bank independence.

Kuchma had nominated Serhiy Tyhypko, leader of a pro-presidential parliamentary faction, as the new National Bank chairman.