Ukraine prepared Monday to usher in a stable new pro-Western government following the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk over public anger with his seeming inability to fight government graft.
Yatsenyuk’s announcement Sunday came barely two months after he survived a no-confidence vote in parliament that left the government paralyzed and put the release of vital foreign aid on hold.
The former Soviet republic has been roiled by a pro-Russian eastern revolt and an economic collapse that has wiped out people’s savings and stirred public resentment toward the government since Yatsenyuk assumed office in February 2014.
“Having done everything to ensure stability and make a smooth transition of power possible, I decided to step down from the post of prime minister of Ukraine,” the 41-year-old said in a weekly television address.
President Petro Poroshenko’s party has proposed replacing Yatsenyuk with parliament speaker Volodymyr Groysman — a coalition builder who has gained stature by keeping the notoriously-rowdy chamber in relative peace since his appointment in November 2014.
But some economists fear that the 38-year-old Poroshenko protege may lack the toughness needed to stand up to a handful of tycoons who have dominated Ukraine’s fractious politics for years.
Parliament is to decide whether to accept Yatsenyuk’s resignation Tuesday at what is expected to be a marathon session that might also see a vote on Groysman’s candidacy.
Yatsenyuk’s party member Anton Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook that there were “more than enough votes” needed to accept the premier’s resignation.
Yet what comes next is far less clear.