Ukraine have confirmed that an imminent collapse of its current coalition government is on the cards, amid a Parliamentary vote on whether to hold snap elections in the country.
Ukraine’s largest political party confirmed that they will vote whether the performance of Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk is “unsatisfactory” before arranging a general election.
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If the government loses, lawmakers need 150 signatures in parliament to hold a no-confidence vote, which could lead to national elections if the coalition cannot agree on a new cabinet. Two legislators told Reuters they had already secured the signatures.
Yuriy Lutsenko, the parliamentary leader of President Petro Poroshenko’s party, said his party had “taken the decision to rate the cabinet ministers’ work as unsatisfactory”.
Poroshenko heads Ukraine’s largest party, and Yatseniuk the next largest. Both are in the ruling coalition.
Maksym Burbak, the parliamentary leader of Yatseniuk’s party, told lawmakers that the consequences of voting against the government would be felt “literally the next day – since this could trigger early elections and chaos.”
The government’s collapse would dismay Ukraine’s international backers, who have invested much cash and political capital supporting the Ukrainian government in its standoff with Moscow after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Ukraine’s failure to tackle corruption and implement reforms has already derailed a Western aid programme that keeps its war-ravaged economy afloat.
Last year, the International Monetary Fund gave Ukraine a $17.5 billion package to be spread over four years, but so far only $6.7 billion has been disbursed.
Ukraine has been waiting since October for the next tranche of aid, worth $1.7 billion, which has been held up by concerns over the slow pace of reform.
The economy minister quit at the start of February, complaining corrupt vested interests were meddling in his ministry’s work.
Ukraine’s hryvnia currency fell to a new 11-month low of below 27 to the dollar on Tuesday, central bank data showed, and has fallen 12.2 percent since the start of the year.
The government is struggling to haul Ukraine out of recession at the same time it is fighting a pro-Russian separatist insurgency in its industrial east.
Prime Minister Yatseniuk’s approval ratings have plunged to less than 1 percent since taking office in 2014. He has no obvious successor, although the parliament speaker and the technocrat finance minister are considered contenders.