Ukrainian official names two contenders for post of Prime Minister
The main contenders for the post of Prime Minister of Ukraine are Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groisman, as stated by the head of the presidential administration, Borys Lozhkin, in an interview with Ukrainian radio station Vesti.
Lozhkin mentioned that he cannot yet say which of the two contenders will be supported by the parliamentary factions. He acknowledged that many in the Rada do not support the idea of a completely technocratic government, which is offered by Jaresko.
The head of the presidential administration said that the question now is not whether the current Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigns, but whether there will be a new coalition, and under whom it will be formed.
On March 14th, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s Press Secretary, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, said that Poroshenko was considering either Jaresko or the leader of the Samopomich (self-reliance) political party and mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi, for the post of Prime Minister.
On Tuesday, March 15th, Sadovyi reported that, in a meeting with Poroshenko, he turned down an offer to become the next Prime Minister of Ukraine.
In early March, the Financial Times supported Groisman’s candidacy, but noted that a Cabinet headed by him would potentially be more susceptible to the influence of "powerful corporative interests, including the influence of the oligarchs and the president [Poroshenko]".
Sources familiar with the situation stressed that Jaresko is likely to refuse working in such a government, which could undermine the support of creditors, in particular that of the IMF.