Poroshenko puts his man forward
Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced his resignation as Ukrainian prime minister. In his place, the President Petro Poroshenko bloc has recommended Volodymyr Groysman, the current speaker of the Ukrainian parliament. While rumours already have emerged that Groysman may back down, Poroshenko’s candidate is being met with some harsh criticism.
Volodymyr Groysman is a deputy from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. The previous mayor of Vinnytsia and is a graduate of the inter-regional academy of management, Groysman served as deputy prime minister for regional development since August 2014. He is a member of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine as well as the head of the commission in charge of changes to Ukraine’s constitution.
In an interview already on March 27th 2016, Groysman said that he is ready to take on the responsibility as head of a new government under the condition that he receives the possibility a “reliable coalition for reform and the creation of a government with people ready to implement real, open and transparent reforms”. Judging from previous statements, it seems that a Gorysman government would focus primarily on economic development and effective co-operation with international financial institutions. He would most likely also continue to push reforms aimed at stronger integration with the European Union and he has declared that his goals are increased transparency and decentralisation as well as finalising tax and budget reforms.
The Petro Poroshenko Bloc is still carrying out discussions on what a new governing coalition would look like and how this coalition would support Groysman’s candidacy as prime minister. The makeup of this coalition currently includes Batkivshchyna (the party of Yulia Tymoshenko), the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko and the National Front (the party of the resigning prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk). Debates continue regarding the composition of the new government and rumours have already emerged that Groysman was going remove his name from the prime minister’s spot due to a dispute on the makeup of the cabinet.
Nevertheless, Groysman is considered a confidante of Poroshenko. According to the Financial Times, it is unlikely Gorysman will be able to resist the influence of the oligarchs. In turn, Anders Aslund from the Atlantic Council recently tweeted that if Gorysman becomes prime minister, Poroshenko will be held responsible for everything and will lose popularity even faster. While journalist Max Seddon predicts that such a decision will only anger the Ukrainian society and the West since they appear to be more directed at satisfying representatives of the old system.
Zofia Fenikowska is an editorial intern with New Eastern Europe. She has an MA inUkrainian language studies from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.