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    28 February 2021 Sunday

    Radical Tymoshenko Wins Backing as Ukrainian PM

    Radical reformer Yulia Tymoshenko won overwhelming approval as Ukraine's prime minister Friday and pledged to make her government so clean it would "sparkle like a diamond."

    Yulia Tymoshenko
    Yulia Tymoshenko

    Tymoshenko, who charmed crowds alongside the new president at protests which helped put him in power, told parliament she would make government accountable and uphold ties with Russia. But she also vowed to move "quickly and honorably" in propelling the ex-Soviet state toward Europe.

    Deputies in the 450-seat chamber endorsed her by 379 votes to zero. She immediately read out the list of Yushchenko's cabinet nominees, all prominent reformers committed to preparing the ex-Soviet state for European Union membership.

    Tymoshenko, beaming in an elaborate gray dress and her trademark Ukrainian braid, promised after the vote she would not disappoint the country's people or its president.

    "There could be some shortcoming or other on technical issues, but I will maintain moral standards so high that no one will be able to say later that they were mistaken today. We will build such a team that Ukraine will sparkle like a diamond."

    Embraced by the president outside the chamber, she vowed to remember the dreams of supporters who had filled Kiev's streets.

    "I know society is expecting a miracle from the government -- a social miracle, a miracle in establishing order and justice triumphing," she said. "We will make the miracle happen." Parliament later approved her government's program of broad principles, though some deputies said it lacked detail.

    Tymoshenko is popular with nationalists but viewed with suspicion in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and in Moscow, where bribery charges are still being pressed against her.


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