Ukrainian President Sees Jaresko as Potential New Premier

  • Poroshenko says Lviv Mayor Sadovyi could also be a candidate
  • Yatsenyuk's party `welcomes' nominees, seeks new cabinet names

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sees Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko and Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi as possible candidates to take over as prime minister and lead the country out of its worst political crisis in two years.

A third option would be for the ruling coalition to pick a replacement for incumbent Premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Poroshenko’s spokesman, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, said Monday on Facebook. The president meets this evening with parliamentary leaders to discuss cabinet changes to accelerate reforms while “preserving pro-European policies,” he said.

Poroshenko’s party reiterated Monday that Yatsenyuk should resign. The premier, who’s refused to step down, called on the president to either make changes to the existing cabinet or select a new one, though he said the second scenario would take longer. His party said it “welcomed” presidential nominees for the premier’s job, adding that it wants the names of all ministers to be announced.

“Our position is clear and understandable,” Yatsenyuk’s party said in an e-mailed statement. “The sooner the president and his party determine the final candidate for the prime minister position, name new members of the cabinet and announce the program of its reforms, the sooner the country will get out of the crisis and continue the course of European reforms.”

Recession, War

With Ukraine is embroiled in its worst political crisis since deadly street protests ousted its Kremlin-backed leader in 2014, the political uncertainty is already delaying disbursements from a $17.5 billion bailout. Having exited recession, restructured $15 billion of debt and signed a pact to end the armed conflict against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Poroshenko’s coalition collapsed over efforts to stamp out graft. Any change of premier would have to be initiated by Yatsenyuk, who survived a Feb. 16 no-confidence vote triggered by Poroshenko’s party.

The yield on Ukrainian government bonds due 2019 rose one basis point to 10.021 percent as of 6:10 p.m. in Kiev, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The hryvnia was 3.1 percent weaker against the dollar, partially recovering after the central bank sold $60 million at an auction to prop it up.

Investors’ Favorite

Ukrainian bonds have rallied on the idea that Jaresko, a favorite among investors, will lead a government of technocrats that can get Ukraine’s reform plans back on track. Last week she discouraged speculation over her candidacy.

Sadovyi, who leads the Samopomich party, met Poroshenko in his presidential office in Kiev Monday, and said he won’t reverse last month’s decision to leave the parliamentary coalition. Ukraine doesn’t need snap elections, he said in remarks broadcast by television channel 112.

“One has to be realistic,” Sadovyi said, pointing to his party’s 26 lawmakers in Ukraine’s 450-seat parliament. Poroshenko’s Bloc and Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front must put forward their candidates, he said.

A draft resolution on another no-confidence vote, this time in Yatsenyuk rather than just the entire government, has been submitted, according to Yuriy Lutsenko, the leader of Poroshenko’s bloc in parliament. It may be considered “very soon,” the Interfax news service cited him as saying Monday.

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