Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has backed Arseny Yatsenyuk for a new term as prime minister. Meanwhile, pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine are set to hold their own elections.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that he wants the current prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, to remain in his post, after the premier's party came first in the elections last Sunday.
"I have proposed to the faction of the Poroshenko bloc that it submits Arseniy Yatsenyuk as a candidate for prime minister," he said in a tweet, after meeting with his party on Friday.
Yatseniuk, a former economy and foreign minister, said this week he wanted to remain prime minister after his People's Front party got the most votes in a parliamentary election last Sunday dominated by pro-Western political groups. The Poroshenko bloc, headed by the president, finished narrowly behind the People's Front.
The elections were held despite the fact that large areas of eastern Ukraine are still under the control of pro-Russia rebels. A separate ballot in those areas is planned for Sunday. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has described those elections as "unconstitutional"
"Donetsk und Luhansk are not capable of living on their own, and they are a hotbed of instability," Klimkin said.
‘There can only be one ballot'
To Kyiv's dismay, Russia came out in support of a rebel vote being held in separatist-controlled areas, despite saying it would respect the results of the Ukraine's national election last Sunday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation on Friday that Sunday's planned elections in that part of Ukraine were illegitimate and would not be recognized by European leaders. This was part of a four-way conversation involving Merkel,Putin, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Poroshenko, Merkel's spokesman Georg Streiter told a news conference in Berlin.
"Merkel and Hollande underlined that there can only be a ballot in line with Ukrainian law," Streiter said, adding that the vote would violate the Minsk agreement and further complicate efforts to find a solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
dj/xx (AFP, Reuters, dpa)