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Ukrainian Parliament Accepts Ministers' Resignations

Prime minister Yanukovych attacked the resignations as politically based (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) November 1, 2006 -- Ukraine's parliament today accepted the resignations of two ministers allied to President Viktor Yushchenko.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych deplored the resignations which he said were for political motives.

"There was no criticism to the work of those ministers. I feel sorry for them as people and I say it frankly," he said. "They were set up when they got into the government and gave up their seats as parliament deputies. But I don't know why it happened."

Yanukovych immediately proposed replacements for the justice minister and the culture minister.

Four ministers from the president's pro-Western Our Ukraine party submitted their resignations last month after talks broke down on forming a broad coalition with Yanukovych's pro-Russian Party of Regions. Yanukovych asked the other two ministers, of health and of youth and sports, to remain in their jobs.

Under Ukrainian legislation, the resignations had to be approved by parliament.

A fifth Our Ukraine cabinet minister, Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, earlier this month also submitted his resignation, only to withdraw it hours later.

Yushchenko has two more allies in the cabinet, the foreign minister and the defense minister, whom he appoints directly.

(UNIAN, Interfax-Ukraine, AP)

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

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