The New Ukrainian Government: Who Replaced the Honcharuk’s "Technocrats"

Home / News / The New Ukrainian Government: Who Replaced the Honcharuk’s "Technocrats"
The Verkhovna Rada dismissed the Cabinet of Ministers of Oleksiy Honcharuk. Now the government will be headed by Denys Shmyhal, who previously worked in the structures of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. The government of the "technocrats" of Ukrainian Ex-Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk already received the honorary status of "the most" and resigned. It was in it that the youngest reform ministers headed by the youngest prime minister worked for the shortest time out of all the Ukrainian governments, but they failed. It is all because, for Ukrainians, as President Volodymyr Zelensky stated in his Verkhovna Rada speech, "not stealing is not enough." Zelensky: The government needs not only new faces, but also new brains On Wednesday, March 4, 353 Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada voted to release Honcharuk from the post of prime minister. Before voting for the cabinet’s resignation, Volodymyr Zelensky first praised and then crushingly criticized Honcharuk and his team. The president called the achievements of the government the reduction of inflation, the NBU discount rate, the fight against shadow markets, in particular, with gambling and illegal gas stations, the privatization of state-owned enterprises and the decrease in the role of the state in the economy. "But the truth is that today this is not enough for Ukrainians. And it's true. Not to steal is not enough. This is a government of new people, but few people. New brains and new hearts are needed. This government knows what to do, but not enough. We really need to work a lot. We must admit mistakes, "Zelensky said. He reproached Honcharuk for the fall of industrial production for the fourth consecutive month and the failure of communication with local authorities and the population. Oleksiy Honcharuk nodded obediently, but then, coming to the podium, tried to answer the president’s claims. “Six months is a very short time to evaluate the results of any government,” the head of government said. At the same time, he pointed out that Ukrainians already see some results of his cabinet’s work in payments in lowering gas prices. In addition, Honcharuk emphasized, the government successfully carried out an unbundling of Naftogaz, launched record privatization, and the first concession tenders. "There was no corruption in this government, and it systematically fought it from the first day to the last," the prime minister proudly said. Earlier, Ukrainian media wrote that Zelensky and Honcharuk had a conflict caused by the fact that government dismissed the head of State Energy Company Centrenergo, who was considered loyal to the Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi. It was this company in his final performance as prime minister that Honcharuk remembered. “In September, journalists asked me about the fight against corruption at Centrenergo. I promised that we will solve this issue before the end of the heating season - and we did it. The decision on this company has already been made,” he said. The course of the new government of Ukraine will remain unchanged But no one was particularly interested in the merits of Honcharuk. His displacement was a settled issue. And the president submitted to the Rada the candidacy of Denys Shmyhal. For the approval of the new head of government, 291 deputies voted - representatives of the mono-majority, deputy groups "Trust" and "For the Future", as well as 14 non-factional deputies. "The previous government did everything possible, but today the Ukrainians need a government that will do the impossible. I hope that this will be the next cabinet of ministers," Zelensky said and expressed hope that the Shmyhal government would become a "government for people." The newly appointed prime minister immediately declared that his government would maintain and continue the reforms and programs of the previous cabinet. "The course remains unchanged," Shmyhal said. According to him, special attention of the new Cabinet will be given to industrial production, agricultural development, social issues. In particular, one of the important issues for his government remains raising the level of pensions and minimum wages. In opposition, government reshuffles have sparked criticism. "Once the first Zelensky’s government was dismissed, now a new Zelensky’s government has been appointed. And what's the difference between them? The situation will change only when Zelensky himself resigns," Volodymyr Viatrovych, the deputy from the European Solidarity faction, told reporters. The Servant of People faction recognizes that they have previously made a false bet on "new faces" in the government. “Six months later, we saw that there were few new faces, and professionalism and experience were needed for the new face. Shmyhal has relevant experience,” Iryna Vereschtschuk, deputy from the “Servant of the People” said. Shmyhal in known an excellent manager Month ago, few people knew Denys Shmyhal in Ukrainian politics. In business circles, he was better known as a manager in various companies. He is 44 years old, he was born and studied in Lviv. He graduated from the Lviv Polytechnic University with a degree in production management, and later became candidate of economic sciences, defending a dissertation on regional economics. According to the training program for managers of the German Ministry of Economics and Energy, he studied at the Rhenish-Westphalian Technical University of Aachen. His career is quite variegated: from the self-nominated candidate for the Verkhovna Rada elections in 2014, to the general director of the food retailer Lvovholod and the top manager in the structures of the business empire Rinat Akhmetov. In 2017-2019, Denys Shmyhal served as Deputy General Director of DTEK Zakhidenergo, was the director of the Burshtyn TPP, which is part of the structure of DTEK Akhmetov. The penultimate workplace of Shmygal is the chair of the Chairman of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration, the latter is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development of Communities and Territories in the Government of Oleksiy Honcharuk. In this position, he worked for exactly a month. Presenting his candidacy for the Minister approval at the beginning of February, Honcharuk said: "This person ... is an excellent manager ... I am convinced that he will seriously strengthen our joint team." It was unlikely then that the prime minister assumed that the reinforcement would end with the displacement of himself. Deputies of the Servants of the People faction deny the influence of any of the oligarchs on the new prime minister. “Mr. Shmyhal worked somewhere in business, but in the end, he is an economist, he is a good manager. I don’t see any influence of financial and industrial groups here,” Iryna Vereschtschuk said. The search for ministers lasted until the last minute After the election, Denys Shmyhal introduced his new team. Among them there are several ministers from the previous government, in particular Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, Minister of Justice Denys Maliuska, Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov. Many new ministers held office in the days of Viktor Yanukovych. This is precisely what provoked the demarche of the Golos faction, which left the plenary session. The deputy from this faction, Oleksandra Ustinova, called the new cabinet the “Yanukovych government” and announced counter-revolution under the guise of new faces. The parliament approved the new composition of the government, the ministers of defense and foreign affairs were approved by separate decisions, the candidates of which, according to the Constitution, were submitted to the parliament by the president. The Foreign Minister was approved by Dmytro Kuleba, and the Ministry of Defense - Andryi Taran. Four more ministerial portfolios remained vacant. The deputies did not know who would enter the new Cabinet almost till the last moment, since negotiations were held with potential ministers almost until the moment of voting. This, according to the political analyst of the Democratic Initiatives Fund named after Ylko Kucheriv Andrey Suharin, can play a cruel joke with the Shmyhal government. "A high-performance government is not sought in the last minutes. Government is politicians and managers united by a common idea of ​​change. And what could be a common idea among people who were found almost by accident and in a very short time," said DW Suharin. He predicts that the new government will not be as effective as the cabinet of Oleksiy Honcharuk.