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UPDATED: Lawyer Oleksiy Honcharuk Voted Ukraine’s Next PM
29 August, 2019
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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right) and Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Oleksiy Honcharuk (left) Presidential Office
290 MPs voted in favor of lawyer Oleksiy Honcharuk becoming Ukraine's next prime minister.

In his pre-election speech in the parliament, Honcharuk promised to end corruption within Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers.

"There will be no stealing in the new government," he said. Honcharuk also highlighted the importance of an economic growth for the country, that of at least 5-7%. 

Prior to his appointment, Honcharuk also compared his possible premiership with his time at the 2013-2014 Euromaidan revolution. 

"Yesterday I was sent a 2013 video where my friends and I were talking to journalists in an emotional way at Maidan. We tried setting up tents but somebody opposed [that decision]," Honcharuk said adding that he explained it back then by saying that "it's important to do something so that the country changes."

Honcharuk added that at the time, when people asked him who he is, he said "I'm a citizen of Ukraine."

"Nothing has changed since. I'm a simple citizen of Ukraine. Another thing changed. I was scared back then at Maidan. And I'm not now," Honcharuk said adding that the disappearance of fear is the main achievement of post-Euromaidan Ukraine.

Earlier on August 29, Zelenskyy’s team announced that Honcharuk's candidacy was supported by the majority in the party. 

Whilst there were rumors that the name of the new prime minister would be announced before August 29, it is only on the first day of the new parliament’s session that Servant of the People MP and president's representative in the government Andriy Gerus told journalists that the newly formed Servant of the People faction supported his nomination, Interfax-Ukraine reported. This was borne out by the subsequent voting. 

Who is Honcharuk?

Honcharuk has held the position of Deputy Head of the Office of the President since May 28, 2019. In President Zelenskyy’s team, Honcharuk is responsible for economic issues and economic policy - despite studying law. 

Born in the Chernihiv region, he graduated from the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management with a specialization in law and also studied at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine. He received a Ph.D. in law. He also graduated from the Aspen Institute program at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. 

Honcharuk worked as a lawyer at the Gorodyansky food production plant. Between 2005 and 2008 he worked as a lawyer at PRIOR-invest. From 2006 on, he headed the legal department of the investment company. 

In 2008 he founded the Constructive Lawyers law firm, which specializes in real estate and construction. Furthermore, in 2009 he became the head of the Association for Assistance to Affected Investors, which helps defrauded investors who did not receive their property from developers. 

In 2014, he ran for parliament as a candidate of Syla Liudey ("Power of People") party. Although he was first on the party list, Syla Liudey did not meet the minimum threshold to get into parliament. Nonetheless, he worked in government: first as an advisor to the Minister of Ecology, and then as an advisor to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade. Since 2015, he headed the Office of Effective Regulation, which develops and implements a system of state regulations in order to improve the business climate. 

The shortlist of four candidates that included Honcharuk became public in early August.