Ukraine Parliament Approves Firing of Finance, Health Ministers

Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has approved the firing of Finance Minister Ihor Umanskiy and Health Minister Illya Yemets just weeks into their mandates, but failed to approve new candidates to the posts.At an extraordinary session on March 30, lawmakers also failed to approve the first reading of a revised 2020 state budget that takes into account the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.Umanskiy and Yemets became ministers on March 4 when parliament approved President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s cabinet shuffle.A reason for their firing was not given.Serhiy Marchenko was proposed as the new finance minister, but his approval fell three votes shy of the 226 needed in the legislature. The revised state budget for 2020 also failed by the same tally.The nomination of Maksym Stepanov as health minister also failed when he received 217 votes, nine short of what he needed.The budget draft will now return to lawmakers for revision. 

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