Monday, 03 December 2012 17:01
KIEV: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Monday accepted the resignation of his close ally Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and the entire government, the presidency said.
The surprise move comes as a new parliament prepares to meet after October 28 legislative elections which raised new concerns about democratic standards under Yanukovych.
The ministers will remain in their posts until a new government is formed, the presidency said in a statement.
"President Viktor Yanukovych accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, satisfying the demand of the latter," the statement added.
It noted that according to Ukranian law, whenever the prime minister resigns the entire government must do so alongside the government chief.
The presidency explained the mass resignation by saying that Azarov had decided to take up a parliamentary seat rather than staying on as prime minister.
Under Ukrainian law, deputies have to cease their former work in order to take up their seats in the parliament.