14:25 03.03.2010

Ukrainian parliament dismisses Tymoshenko's government

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, dismissed the government led by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Wednesday.

A total of 243 MPs backed a resolution on a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet of Ministers after the parliament considered this issue put forward by the Regions Party. Those who voted for the resolution included 172 Regions Party MPs, seven Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko MPs, 15 Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc MPs, 19 Bloc of Lytvyn MPs, 27 Communist Party MPs, and three MPs representing no faction.

The adoption of the resolution means the dismissal of the government.

Justice Minister Mykola Onischuk earlier said in an interview with Radio Liberty that government members, if the parliament dismisses the Cabinet of Ministers, would continue fulfilling their duties until a new cabinet is formed.

"The government should continue fulfilling its duties until a new staff of the government is formed under the principle of the continuity of government," he said.

Onischuk said that after a positive vote on a resolution of no confidence in the government was passed, all government members should take decisions "in line with their legal and public duties."

"This will also be a constitutional action if any minister submits a vacation letter or is on sick leave," he said.

Onischuk said that ministries had first deputy ministers who should fulfill the ministers' duties.

"However, it should be taken into account that those [deputies] who fulfill [ministers'] duties are not government members, so they cannot take decisions at government meetings and cannot vote," he said.

Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko faction leader Ivan Kyrylenko said: "Once a positive vote of no-confidence [in the government] is passed, the government, especially leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Oleksandr Turchynov, will immediately leave their offices. The fulfillment of [their] duties will be placed on one of Ukraine's deputy premiers so that everybody has no doubt whether Tymoshenko is clinging to her post or not," he said on Monday.

According to the Constitution of Ukraine, a parliamentary coalition forms Ukraine's government and offers the president a candidate for prime minister. The format of a new coalition has not been fully agreed, as there is confrontation about the simultaneous presence in the coalition of the communists and national-democrats from the OU-PSD, with the latter also making a number of demands on the text of a coalition agreement with the Regions Party.

On February 9, Tymoshenko's term as Ukrainian premier reached 1,000 days, including 216 days during her first premiership in 2005.

Tymoshenko first headed the government on February 4, 2005, and was dismissed under a presidential decree of September 8, 2005. She became prime minister for the second time on December 18, 2007. She also served as acting prime minister for 11 days from January 24, 2005.

Tymoshenko has become Ukraine's second head of government who managed to stay at the post for over 1,000 days. Viktor Yanukovych was the first - he worked at the post for 1,277 days.

He first headed the government on November 21, 2002, and resigned on January 5, 2005. Yanukovych became premier for the second time on August 4, 2006, while on December 18, 2007, he handed over the post to Tymoshenko.

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