Mykola Azarov, a former Acting Prime Minister during the Presidency of Leonid Kuchma was appointed Prime Minister by Ukraine’s Parliament. A majority of 242 of the 343 registered Members of Parliament voted in favor of Azarov.
Azarov was one of three people that President Yanukovich proposed for the position. This list also included his rivals in the Presidential race, Sergiy Tigipko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The new Prime Minister has a long-standing political association with Viktor Yanukovich which dates back to their time in the cabinet of President Leonid Kuchma, who finished his final term in office back in 2005.
Mykola Azarov, rather than being a career politician, holds a doctorate in Geology and Mineralogy which he attained from Moscow State University. The Russian-born Azarov moved to Ukraine in 1984, 7 years before the country declared its independence. As Ukraine has been rocked hard by the current Economic slump, Azarov seem like a good choice as he has served as Finance Minister during some of Ukraine’s highest GDP growths.
Media in Ukraine are stating that the new Prime Minister’s focus will be on appointing a new cabinet and pushing through a 2010 Budget which had been delayed for several months during the upheaval surrounding the Presidential election.
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)