16 Jan 2020 15:43

Zelensky supporters in Rada object to PM's dismissal

KYIV. Jan 16 (Interfax) - There is no reason for Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk to be dismissed, Oleksandr Korniyenko, first deputy head of the pro-presidential parliamentary faction of the Servant of the People party, said on Thursday.

"Some emotional steps were proposed [at a Servant of the People faction meeting], like 'Let's express something,' but the faction didn't support that. This is not a discussion. This is how it looked: 'Let's sack Honcharuk immediately. Who's in favor?' Five hands were raised. This is an emotional reaction by parliamentarians who see themselves in opposition to the government," Korniyenko told journalists at the parliament.

There are neither any reasons nor legitimate grounds to dismiss the government led by Honcharuk at the moment, he said. "There are no such grounds now. Concerning a vote of no confidence, this would violate the constitution, and we won't resort to this," Korniyenko said.

The government's dismissal would provoke a political crisis in Ukraine, which would certainly be disadvantageous to the country, and thus the government led by Honcharuk should continue working, he said.

"I believe the government should work and perform the duties it is performing, and it should also pay more attention to the security of its internal conversations and address the economy. After all, those conversations are about the economy," Korniyenko said.

A number of Telegram channels circulated an audio recording on Wednesday in which several people discuss the preparation of an economic policy report for the president, as well as the causes and possible effects of a stronger hryvnya. A person whose voice resembles Honcharuk's says the president has "primitive" notions about economics and refers to himself as "clueless about economics." The conversation was said to have been recorded on December 16. In addition to Honcharuk, the meeting was supposedly attended by National Bank of Ukraine Deputy Chairperson Kateryna Rozhkova, Finance Minister Oksana Markarova, deputy chief of the presidential office Yulia Kovaliv, and others.

Kovaliv later denied her presence at the meeting. The government press service said it had no information confirming the veracity of the audio recordings. Honcharuk himself said, "A lot of people have been working against the president's team and the government. These people wished for us to fail."