Friday 17 January 2020
I wrote – Iman Mahmoud
A few days ago, a voice recording spread on social media of Ukraine’s Prime Minister Alexei Honsharuk, during his meeting with the ministers, through which he talks about Volodymyr Zelinsky of the Ukrainian President and describes him as “ignorant of the economy.”
Honsharuk asked advice from Deputy National Bank President Ekaterina Rogkova and Finance Minister Oksana Markarova to be able to explain the economic situation of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelinsky, accusing him of “ignorance” of the economy.
The registration, which was leaked this week, took place during an informal meeting held last December between ministers and senior officials of the National Bank.
Ukrainian media sites indicated that the participants discussed how to explain Zelinski’s recent economic developments, and through the leaked recording Honsharuk’s voice was heard saying that he “should be explained in a simplified manner given that his understanding of the economy is very primitive and has limited ability to learn.”
For his part, the President of Ukraine issued an order to law enforcement officials to know the owner of the leaked registration, saying: “I request within two weeks and as soon as possible that we obtain information about who made this registration and deal with it.”
Resignation “to remove doubts”
Friday morning, the Prime Minister – the youngest in the history of Ukraine – announced his resignation, saying on his official Facebook page: “In order to remove all doubts about our respect and our confidence towards the President, I wrote a letter of resignation and handed it over to the President.”
Commenting on his leaked statements, he wrote that “its content artificially created the idea that I and my team do not respect the president … This is not true … I reached this position to implement the president’s program.”
The Ukrainian President’s office confirmed that he received the resignation request.
Hours later, the Ukrainian Prime Minister arrived in Parliament, which held an emergency session to discuss the first resignation.
Houncharok addressed the deputies about his decision, saying that his request is consistent with the Ukrainian constitution, according to which the president of the country must decide the fate of the prime minister, according to what was reported by “Ukraine in Arabic”.
“We all respect the president, and it is important for us to maintain full confidence within the president’s team. The government has recently seen a tremendous amount of attacks and manipulation of information damaging the current situation in the country. It is clear that the goal is to sow discord within the team, which The majority of Ukrainians voted for him in the elections. ”
He added that everyone in the team is a specialist, so the government will continue to work as usual until the president himself decides who will remain in the future and in what position.
At the end of his speech, the Prime Minister thanked his colleagues in the party and said that they had managed to achieve many positive changes in the life of Ukraine by working together. He said the government was ready to continue working and doing more useful work, but for that, the team must remain united and work in solidarity.
After that, the Prime Minister left the platform, with the applause of some of the deputies, while others chanted “shame.”
The clip caused a state of controversy in Ukrainian political circles, as lawmakers from the “Opposition for Life” party demanded the resignation of Hunchark, saying that he and his government were mutilating the President of Ukraine and further aggravating the economic crisis in the country.
But members of the ruling “Khadem al-Shaab” party said yesterday, Thursday, that “there is no reason for Hunchark to resign.”
For his part, said Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and Sports Vladimir Borodianski: “We are one team so we support the position of the Prime Minister and wait for the President’s decision, and continue to work normally.”
The Minister of Education Anna Novosad and the Minister of Social Policy Yulia Sokolovskaya also expressed support for the Prime Minister’s decision.
In turn, Deputy Prime Minister for digital transformation Mikhail Fedorov said, “Our government is the first in the history of Ukraine that does not steal, does not reach quotas, and has no personal goals.” He added, “We came with the president to make real changes. I support Goncharuk … Our entire team … Personally, I do not hold this position.”
Ukraine’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Timofy Milovanov supported the Prime Minister’s decision, and Milovanov wrote on Facebook, “We continue to work normally and wait for Vladimir Zelinsky’s decision.”
He refused to resign
European channel “euronews” reported – on Friday – in an urgent news that the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelinsky, rejected the resignation of his Prime Minister, “Oleksey Huncharok”, which he presented earlier today, 4 months after he took over as prime minister of the country.
Who is Alexei Huncharok?
Honsharuk, 35, became the youngest prime minister in Ukraine’s history after Zelinsky appointed him to the post in August 2018, in an economy plagued by deadlock and war with separatists in the east of the country.
The prime minister, the young lawyer who had no actual experience in government, was not known at the time at the political level, but his appointment coincided with the new president’s promises to “pump new blood into the Ukrainian political scene.”
Huncharuk, who studied law and public administration before taking part in founding a law firm when he was 24, was a fan of liberal economic reforms.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director of the President’s Office upon Zhilinski’s arrival to power, he had been managing for several years an EU-funded non-governmental organization working to improve the commercial environment in Ukraine.