Ukraine leader forms new coalition
Yanukovych moves to replace outgoing government of Yulia Tymoshenko.
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2010 10:47 GMT
Azarov, left, was nominated as prime minister in Yanukovych's new coalition government [EPA]

Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's president, has formed a new coalition to replace the outgoing government of his arch-rival Yulia Tymoshenko.

The new coalition, made up of 235 deputies, nominated Mykola Azarov, a 62-year-old former finance minister, to take the role of prime minister.

Formation of a new coalition following Yanukovych's victory over Tymoshenko in a February election had been necessary to avoid snap elections and to tackle a deep economic crisis.

But Azarov, speaking before his nomination on Thursday, said state coffers were "empty" and that a "realistic" budget would have to be redrafted for 2010.

"We will eliminate the financial problems created by the previous government," he said.

"The country has been plundered, the coffers are empty, state debt has risen threefold ... The main task today is to redraft and get approved a realistic budget."

New government

The ex-Soviet republic, battered by the economic downturn, needs a new government to adopt a delayed 2010 budget and restart talks with the International Monetary Fund on a suspended $16.4bn bail-out package.

Tymoshenko's departure as prime minister following a no-confidence vote marks the end of five years of rule by the leadership which emerged from the 2004 pro-Western Orange Revolution.

Yanukovych's Regions Party said it expected a full government line-up to emerge on Thursday, likely headed by the Russian-born Azarov.

Born in Russia and resident in Ukraine since only 1984, Azarov is seen as a safe pair of hands though no radical reformer.

Although Tymoshenko has refused to recognise Yanukovych's legitimacy, she appears to be positioning herself as a strong opposition leader against what she describes as the "anti-Ukrainian" policies of the president.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.