Ukrainian Parliament to vote on Foreign Minister

The Ukrainian Parliament has been set to approve a new Foreign Minister. The Ukrainian President, Victor Yushchenko, has proposed Volodymyr Ohryzko’s candidacy.  

The MPs will meet on Thursday to consider a candidate for the position. 

The office was previously held by Boris Tarasyuk who resigned on January 30, following pressure from the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich. 

Mr Ohryzko who is 50, has served as deputy Foreign Minister to Boris Tarasyuk since 2005. 

His candidacy arouses mixed feelings as he might follow the same path as Tarasyuk and push for the country to join NATO and the EU.

Another major item to be debated is a new law that could significantly reduce the President's power and give more authority to the Prime Minister.

This law was the first to come into effect without the presidential signature.

According to the new law, firstly, the President has only 15 days to nominate the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence, after the governing coalition is formed. Secondly, the Parliament gets the right to vote on the PM without Presidential approval of the candidacy.

The President appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul this law. But it came into effect last Friday. It will take half a year for the Constitutional Court to rule on this matter and in the meantime  presidential power will be limited.