09:49 Apr. 14, 2016
Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said Sunday that he'd step down
Ukraine's parliament speaker, nominated to take over as prime minister and jumpstart stalled reforms, said a deal between the nation's two biggest parties over a new government is edging closer.
"We'll have a chance to meet today within the coalition so that tomorrow we can vote on a new government, the new program and the change in parliament leadership," Volodymyr Groysman, an ally of President Petro Poroshenko, told lawmakers Wednesday (April 13). "The situation is very difficult and at some point one must take responsibility."
Parliament closed Tuesday (April 12) without debating Premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk's resignation or Hroisman's appointment as his successor. Poroshenko party member Oleksiy Honcharenko warned failure to approve a cabinet this week could trigger snap elections. The parties of Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are meeting this evening in Kiev to discuss ministerial posts.
Swept to power in 2014 after a street revolution demanding Ukraine be remade as a European-style democracy, the country's leaders have come under fire from voters and foreign donors for failing to tackle corruption.
Stalled reforms prompted the departure of key officials from the administration and a halt in disbursements from a .5 billion International Monetary Fund bailout. While the economy has begun to recover from an 18-month recession, the hryvnia has lost 6 percent against the dollar this year.
Groysman's candidacy will be backed by a slimmed-down ruling coalition consisting of Yatsenyuk's party and Poroshenko's bloc. With two smaller parties having quit in February, the alliance has been luring independent lawmakers to attain a majority. One lawmaker quit Wednesday (April 13), leaving the new coalition's fate in the balance.
After tonight's meeting, Groysman's candidacy will be submitted to the president, Yuriy Lutsenko, the head of Poroshenko's party, told reporters Wednesday (April 13). "The president will submit this proposal to parliament no later than tomorrow morning," he said.