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Ukraine Parliament selects Denys Shmygal as new PM

Ukraine Parliament selects Denys Shmygal as new PM
Denys Shmygal speaks before lawmakers vote during an extraordinary session of Ukrainian Parliament to choose him as the new prime minister in Kiev on Wednesday. Photo by Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE

March 4 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian Parliament selected Denys Shmygal to be the country's new prime minister Wednesday after President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for and received the resignation of Oleksiy Honcharuk.

The president sought Honcharuk's departure after the latter allegedly described Zelensky's views on the country's economy as "primitive," Al Jazeera reported. Honcharuk's Cabinet's disapproval ratings were above 50 percent at the time of his resignation, about six months on the job.

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Shmygal was Honcharuk's deputy prime minister.

Shmygal said he'll implement a list of "strategic reforms" over the next several years.

"People's patience is running out," he told Parliament. "We need the reforms now."

Zelensky ran on an anti-corruption and economic reform platform. He's hoping the ouster of Honcharuk will be a boost to his administration. His own approval ratings dropped below 50 percent in February.

"This is the first government where this is no high-level corruption," Zelensky said before the Parliament voted to approve Honcharuk's resignation. "But not stealing is not enough. This is a government of new faces, but faces are not enough. New brains and new hearts are needed."

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