UARU
The Fight For Ukraine's New PM, Explained
28 March, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✓ After weeks of speculation that US-born Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko would replace Arseniy Yatsenyuk as Prime Minister, another candidate, Volodymyr Groysman, has emerged as Ukraine's most probable future Prime Minster;

✓ On why did Jaresko fail to secure the job: “As many analysts, Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian say, there was a risk that Jaresko would form a really independent government, that wouldn’t be controlled by the President;”

✓ Groysman, as mayor of Vinnytsia, was able to introduce some progressive economic systems there, however, “there is no guarantee that a person who was a good mayor would be a good prime minister;”

✓ A split in the Poroshenko Bloc exists between those who support Groysman, and those who are for a technocratic government of reformist Jaresko.

Ukraine’s political crisis, sparked by Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius' resignation, may soon be coming to an end. After weeks of speculation that US-born Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko would replace Arseniy Yatsenyuk as Prime Minister, another candidate, Volodymyr Groysman, has emerged as Ukraine's most probable future Prime Minster. The suggestion of current Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament -- a longtime Poroshenko ally, the former mayor of Vinnytsia -- came from the Chair of the Poroshenko Bloc, Yuriy Lutsenko, just days after Finance Minister Jaresko finally agreed to form a new Cabinet and replace Yatsenyuk.

According to Alyona Zhuk, Kyiv Post staff writer, “Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc of people came out with a suggestion that the only possible candidate for this seat can be Groysman because they think that apparently there aren’t enough votes to back Jaresko.” Zhuk spoke with many lawmakers, including some from the Poroshenko Bloc, “but as many analysts, Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian say, there was the risk that Jaresko would form the really independent government, that wouldn’t be controlled by the President,” she adds.

Although Vox Ukraine has yet to survey or poll the public on their opinion about who should be Ukraine’s next Prime Minister, the organization’s analyst, Ilona Sologub, like many of her colleagues, was hoping for Jaresko: “for what she has done, for how she consolidated the budget and pushed through some of the financial reforms… as for Groysman, we don’t really know his economic views, whether he’s left, right.” Groysman, as mayor of Vinnytsia, was able to introduce some progressive economic systems there, however, “there is no guarantee that a person who was a good mayor would be a good prime minister, ” adds Sologub.

According to Sologub, the primary role of the Prime Minister is “talking to the Parliament, getting political support of the reform so neither the president nor the head of Parliamentarian factions can interfere.” While she believes that Groysman may be able to do that job, Zhuk on the other hand thinks that Groysman’s experience with lawmakers can help him push through unpopular bills.

Still, a split in the Poroshenko Bloc exists between those who support Groysman, and those who are for a technocratic government. Critics of the Speaker complain about his alleged sympathy towards oligarchic power and the record of pushing through the parliament 'anti-European and not very democratic laws,' Zhuk adds.

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk and Josh Kovensky of the Kyiv Post spoke to Alyona Zhuk, Kyiv Post Staff Writer, and Ilona Sologub, Vox Ukraine Analyst live in the Sunday Show studio on March 27th, 2016 in Kyiv.