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Ukraine PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk survives no-confidence vote

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk's government has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament. The news came shortly after President Poroshenko asked him to resign for "more mistakes than achievements" during his term.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk maintained his position as Ukraine's prime minister after the Verkhovna Rada rejected a no-confidence vote against him. Only 194 members voted to remove Yatsenyuk, falling short of the 226 needed for a majority in Ukraine's 450-seat parliament.

The Kyiv Post tweeted this message:

Earlier on Tuesday, President Petro Poroshenko asked Yatsenyuk to step down, suggesting a "total reformatting" of the cabinet and saying the prime minister's government had lost public support and committed "more mistakes than achievements." Poroshenko, who heads Ukraine's largest party, has joined hands with Yatsenyuk's party to form a coalition government in the center.

The president also asked General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin to resign. Shokin had been widely criticized for not implementing judicial reforms.

Concerns about eastern Ukraine

Yatsenyuk became prime minister in 2014, shortly after protests in Ukraine succeeded in ousting former President Viktor Yanukovych. Yatsenyuk's public ratings have plunged to below one percent, but the leader has no obvious successor. Experts have expressed concerns that the prime minister's resignation could trigger early elections and plunge the country into further chaos.

His title is also important for negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the next tranche of loans in Ukraine's multibillion-dollar credit plan. This tranche has been on hold since October because of the slow pace of reforms in Ukraine.

Ukraine Kiew Presskonferenz Petro Poroschenko

President Poroshenko has been urged to resolve conflicts with his coalition partner

Last week, US Vice President Joe Biden urged the governing coalition to unify to allow Ukraine to "move forward with reforms, in line with the commitments in the IMF program."

Furthermore, the White House reported that Biden had "expressed serious concern about the security situation in eastern Ukraine" in a call with President Poroshenko as fighting went on. More than 9,000 people have been killed in fighting since separatists rose up in eastern Ukraine after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The political crisis in Ukraine was intensified by the resignation of two top-officials in less than two weeks. Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaliy Kasko quit on Monday in protest over corruption.

mg/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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