Ukrainian government survives non-confidence vote

Kiev, Feb 17 (IANS) Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday failed to pass a non-confidence bill against the government led by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, the parliament’s press service said.

The result helped avoid the immediate prospect of a snap election in a country grappling with an economic recession and a pro-Russian insurgency in the eastern areas of Ukraine, Xinhua reported.

The bill, put forward by the ruling Solidarity Party, only won backing from 194 lawmakers with a required minimum of 226 votes, said a statement on the parliament’s website.

The vote in parliament came hours after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the country’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and the Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin to resign amid lack of public confidence.

In his address to the nation, Poroshenko emphasised the necessity of carrying out a “complete reshuffle” of the Ukrainian cabinet to make it continue functioning in a proper way.

“Total reformatting of the government should take place on the basis of the current ruling coalition comprising of Solidarity, People’s Front, Samopomich and Fatherland political parties,” Poroshenko said.

Apart from Solidarity Party, Tuesday’s vote gained support from the Samopomich and the Fatherland political parties, as well as from Radical party, while the majority of lawmakers from other political forces voted against the bill, the statement said.

While requesting the lawmakers to prepare the vote of confidence earlier this month, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that his entire government, which came to power in December 2014, is ready to resign if parliament decides to lay off at least one of the ministers.

In accordance with the Ukrainian law, only one confidence motion can be put to vote during the parliamentary session, which means that the current cabinet cannot be disbanded by parliament at least until September.

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