09:39 06.02.2014

Serhiy Arbuzov to head Ukraine govt pending premier's appointment

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a decree on February 5 resolving the issue as to who would head the country's government in the absence of the officially appointed prime minister, the president's press service reported.

In the document, Yanukovych instructed "First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine [Serhiy] Arbuzov to fulfill the prime minister's duties in accordance with Part 4 of Article 42 of the law "On the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine" and in line with the distribution of powers principle adopted by the cabinet."

Part 4 of Article 42 of the aforementioned law says that in the absence of the officially appointed prime minister, his duties are implemented by the first deputy prime minister or deputy prime minister in accordance with the government's distribution of powers rule.

Apart from that, the president's decree lifts a ban for the government to adopt decisions concerning "the conceptual foundations of state policy implementation" and other issues in the absence of the officially appointed prime minister.

The cabinet's press service announced on January 28 that Mykola Azarov had handed in his resignation from the post of Ukraine's prime minister.

On the same day, Yanukovych allowed Azarov to step down, entailing the resignation of the country's entire government in accordance with the law.

At the same time, the president allowed the cabinet to continue to fulfill its duties until a new government took over control.

In line with the Ukrainian constitution, the prime minister's resignation leads to the resignation of the entire government.

However, the cabinet that resigned on January 28 will be able to implement its duties for no more than 60 days.

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