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Ukrainian Prime Minister Resigns


Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation on July 24. (file photo)

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned after two major partners in his coalition announced their withdrawal to allow President Petro Poroshenko to start the procedure for new parliamentary elections.

As he announced his resignation on July 24, Yatsenyuk lashed out at lawmakers for failing to pass laws on energy and on a budget increase to fund the armed forces.

"I announce my resignation due to the coalition break-up and blocking of governmental issues," Yatsenyuk said.

Yatsenyuk said he could not agree to form a new coalition with the Party of Regions and Communist Party factions in parliament so he had no choice but to leave his post.

As for the failure of lawmakers to pass legislation on energy and increased spending on the military, Yatsenyuk said, "That is understandable -- who wants to go to elections and simultaneously vote for unpopular laws?"

Following Yatsenyuk's resignation, parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov asked the UDAR and Svoboda parties to nominate a "technical candidate" to fill the prime minister's post "until parliamentary elections are held."

UDAR, led by former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, and the nationalist Svoboda party were the two parties that pulled out of the coalition earlier in the day.

According to Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, UDAR has already signaled it is prepared to nominate a candidate.

But senior UDAR member Vitaliy Kovalchuk said he thought it was strange that Turchynov made the request and then adjourned parliament without allowing deputies to vote on his selection.

Kovalchuk also said that while he respected Yatsenyuk, he thought Yatsenyuk was acting from emotion and wished the now former prime minister had taken time to consider his decision.

UNIAN reported that Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has been named acting prime minister.

Early parliamentary elections were expected since the February ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych following months of protests.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS
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