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Ukraine's parliament approved Wednesday the resignations of the justice and culture ministers
Ukraine's parliament approved Wednesday the resignations of the justice and culture ministers, two out of four Cabinet members who tendered their resignations over major differences with the prime minister October 19. The speaker of the Supreme Rada said parliament only voted on Roman Zvarych and Ihor Likhovy's resignations following a request from Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. "The premier said he can immediately nominate candidates for the posts of justice minister and culture minister," Oleksandr Moroz said. However, Yanukovych will have to hold consultations on the other two ministers, the speaker said. Initially, five ministers from pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc, including the minister of family affairs, youth and sports, the health minister, and the interior minister, tendered their resignations, in line with their party's decision to go into opposition and possibly form a shadow Cabinet. But Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko withdrew his resignation later the same day in accordance with a decision by the president, the speaker and prime minister. Relations between the bloc and the government, which came to power in August, have worsened as the Cabinet has dragged its feet on the president's key pro-Western policy goals, including accession to NATO. The differences have stalled efforts at forming a grand coalition by President Viktor Yushchenko's six-party bloc and the Party of Regions and its allies, the Socialist and Communist parties.
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