Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk’s party has agreed with President Petro Poroshenko’s faction and the Fatherland party – all former coalition partners – to form a new alliance, the head of Yatseniuk’s People’s Front party, said on Monday (28 March).
The deal could spell the end of months of political infighting and corruption allegations that have stymied reforms demanded by Kiev’s Western backers and derailed negotiations for a new $1.7 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund needed to prop up the war-torn economy.
“Tomorrow at 1200 (1000 GMT) we will go to a general meeting of the coalition,” People’s Front Maksym Burbak said after a meeting of deputies with Poroshenko and Yatseniuk late on Monday.
Representatives of Poroshenko’s faction and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkyvschina (Fatherland) party have not yet commented on the results of the meeting.
Support for Yatseniuk has tumbled since he took power after the 2013/2014 Maidan protests, but he has refused to step down until a new coalition agreement is signed.
New Prime Minister?
Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Groysman, a 38-year-old former mayor and ally of Poroshenko, has been put forward as a replacement prime minister. The formation of a coalition would improve his chances of receiving parliamentary support for his nomination.
Two former coalition allies – the populist Radical party and the reformist Samopomich (Self-reliance) – have refused to rejoin the alliance.
The political crisis in Ukraine comes on the top of a deep economic and social crisis and a hybrid war waged by Russia against its neighbor. The living standards of ordinary Ukrainians have deteriorated dramatically, and the EU, which is struggling with successive crises, seems unable to respond to the wishes of many Ukrainians to become part of the European family.
Yatsenyuk survived a no-confidence vote on 16 February, which came hours after Poroshenko asked him to resign because he had lost the public’s trust.
Yatsnyuk has blamed three of the five coalition parties for destabilizing the country, saying they were “worse than the opposition”.
The first force to leave the coalition was Yulia Tymoshenkos’s Batkyvschina, and the second was Samopomich (Self-reliance), led by the popular Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadoviy, a rising star in Ukrainian politics. The third was the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko, a populist allegedly financed by oligarchs.
At the end, there was only Poroshenko’s political party, Solidarity, and Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front left, when Poroshenko called the no-confidence vote.