Ukraine's parliament approves new PM

09:26, March 12, 2010      

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Mykola Azarov addresses a meeting in this file photo taken on February, 2010. Ukraine's parliament approved Mykola Azarov as prime minister on Thursday. (Xinhua/Song Zongli)

Ukraine's parliament approved Mykola Azarov as prime minister on Thursday.

His appointment was supported by 242 lawmakers in the 450-member assembly after President Viktor Yanukovych named Azarov as prime minister on Thursday morning.

At the same time, the Ukrainian parliament terminated the powers of the Yulia Tymoshenko government.

It also appointed defense minister, foreign minister and other cabinet members according to Yanukovych and Azarov's nominations.

Addressing lawmakers at the Parliament, Azarov said Ukraine is facing many financial and social problems created by the previous government.

He said his main task is to redraft and get approved a realistic 2010 budget, which was delayed for months by political infighting.

He also said 2010 should be a "stable year" for the country, expressing his confidence to lead Ukraine out of its financial crisis.

The 62-year-old Russian-born Azarov was appointed first deputy prime minister and finance minister in late November 2002, when the cabinet of Viktor Yanukovych took office.

He served as acting prime minister from Dec. 7, 2004, to Dec. 28, 2004.

Azarov was named acting prime minister again in January 2005. He served in that position until shortly after the inauguration of Viktor Yushchenko. He was replaced on Jan. 24, 2005 by Yulia Tymoshenko.

Ukraine's parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn announced March 2 that Yulia Tymoshenko's ruling coalition had collapsed after losing its majority in the parliament.

One day later, Tymoshenko's government came to an end when the parliament passed a non-confidence vote.

Under Ukraine's constitution, political leaders have 30 days to form a new coalition. If they fail, Yanukovych can exercise his right to dissolve the parliament and call early elections.

On Thursday morning, Lytvyn announced at a parliamentary session that a majority coalition has been formed in the parliament, paving the way for Azarov's appointment.

Source: Xinhua
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