Prime Minister of Ukraine
|Prime Minister of Ukraine
|Appointer||President of Ukraine|
|Term length||Duration of the presidential term (5 years) or less due to earlier resignation or dismissal by the President|
|Inaugural holder||Vitold Fokin|
|Formation||November 18, 1920|
|Succession||None; resignation or removal renders Cabinet illegitimate|
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
The Prime Minister of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Прем'єр-міністр України, Prem'ier-ministr Ukrayiny) is Ukraine's head of government presiding over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which is the highest body of the executive branch of the Ukrainian government. The position replaced Soviet post of the Chairman of Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR that existed since March 25, 1946. In the absence of the President of Ukraine assumes the role of the country's acting President (Article 112 of the Constitution of Ukraine).
Appointment and dismissal 
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the consent of Verkhovna Rada. The consent is deemed granted by the parliament when a simple majority of its constitutional membership votes in favour of the candidate nominated by the President. The highest parliamentary approval to this date was received by Yulia Tymoshenko who was appointed the Prime Minister on February 4, 2005 with 373 votes in the Verkhovna Rada. Other prime ministers who received more than 300 votes were Vitold Fokin (332) and Leonid Kuchma (316).
The procedure of granting consent by the parliament is usually preceded by several days of comprehensive consultations and interviews of the candidate by the parliamentary factions. The approval by the legislature is not a mere formality. Some candidates were ratified by a narrow margin and a candidate may be turned down. For instance, in 1999, Valeriy Pustovoitenko fell short of 3 votes to be re-confirmed after he tendered his resignation at the second inauguration of President Leonid Kuchma in 1999. Kuchma chose Viktor Yushchenko as his alternative candidate. Another example is the approval of Yuriy Yekhanurov candidacy (he fell short of 3 votes to get approved and was confirmed on the second attempt 2 days later). When the constitutional reform of late 2004 was still valid (on October 1, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine overturned the 2004 amendments, considering the procedure of their approval unconstitutional), the President was restricted in his choice of the Prime Minister candidacy and was virtually obliged to nominate the person proposed by the parliamentary coalition.
The President may also dismiss any government minister or deputy minister (including the Prime-minister) at any time. At times when the Prime Minister is absent the Cabinet is presided by the First Deputy Prime Minister as an acting Prime Minister.
Prime Minister, as any members of executive branch, can not be a Member of Parliament.
Duties and powers 
The Prime Minister heads Ukraine's executive branch of government, the Cabinet of Ministers and signs decrees passed by the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister has the authority to announce their candidacies to the Verkhovna Rada for ministry offices (with the exception of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense which are proposed by the President). The Prime Minister can also propose candidacies of heads of regional administrations to the President for consideration.
The Prime Minister can also countersign decrees and laws passed by the President. The constitution is silent on the exact regulation of the countersigning. The Prime Minister (and the respective minister) are responsible for the execution of laws passed by the Cabinet.
While in office, the Prime Minister is granted full legal immunity from all prosecutions and legal proceedings. The Prime Minister's office is headquartered in the Cabinet of Ministries building in central Kiev. The Prime Minister was paid a yearly salary of 202,776 UAH (16,898/month) (US$26,770) in 2005. In 2013 on a petition of the "Fokus" magazine the secretariat of Cabinet of Ukraine informed that the monthly salary of Prime Minister accounts for 33,980 UAH (US$4,173.42) which 11 times more than an average salary in the country.
Ukrainian Prime Minister are frequently asked by individual citizens for help in solving their personal problems (sometimes successful); in 2012 Prime Minister Azarov received dozens of personal pleas every day on his Facebook page. By-passing local Governments is an ages old practice in Ukraine.
Vice-Prime Ministers 
The Prime Minister has his First Vice-Prime Minister or for brevity the First Deputy who heads the cabinet in the absence of the Prime Minister (resignation, dismissal, etc.). Among the most notable First deputies were Yukhym Zvyahilsky and Mykola Azarov who served as the acting Prime minister longer for anyone. Beside them the position of the "acting" also served Valentyn Symonenko, Vasyl Durdynets, Oleksandr Turchynov and others.
Aside of the First Vice-Prime Minister there are also several Vice-Ministers who support the Prime Minister and may be in charge of a ministry or a combination of several. In 1991–1992 there also was introduced an office of the State Minister-Minister. Traditionally Vice-Prime Ministers are in charge of a general state government policy vectors such as the Agro-Industrial Complex, Humanitarian Affairs, Economical Affairs, Regional Policy, others. On certain occasions those deputies may be given regular ministerial portfolios as well, similar to the 2010 Azarov Government.
Dismissal and resignation 
The Prime Minister, as well as any other Cabinet member, may resign voluntarily by tendering their resignation to the President. A resignation by the Prime Minister results in the dismissal of the entire Cabinet. After the adoption of the current Constitution (1996), only Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko lost his post this way.
Before the constitutional reform of 2004, the Prime Minister was usually dismissed unilaterally by the President. After the reform, the Prime Minister could only be dismissed by the parliament. Formally, the Verkhovna Rada needed to pass a resolution of no confidence in the Cabinet, which had to result in the PM's resignation. However, the parliament could not put the resolution on vote within one year after the approval of the Cabinet's official programme. The Cabinets of Prime Ministers Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych were dismissed this way with the latter refusing to tender his resignation to the President claiming a violation of the one-year period condition. The Cabinet of Yuriy Yekhanurov had also been formally dismissed, but the parliamentary act was subsequently repealed. After the annulment of the constitutional reform the President once again has the right to dismiss the Prime Minister at any time at his or her own discretion, while the parliament still retains the right to pass a censure motion against the Cabinet which leads to obligatory resignation of the Cabinet.
With each new presidential term, the Prime Minister (and the Cabinet) are obliged to resign. While the Prime Minister does not have a set term limit, he or she stays in office for the duration of the President's term (unless he or she resigns or is dismissed earlier).
Prime Ministers of Ukraine (1991 – present) 
Since Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been 15 Prime Ministers (19 including acting PMs). Yulia Tymoshenko was the first (and only) female Prime Minister in Ukraine. Before the re-appointed as Prime Minister of Mykola Azarov the length of holding the post of Prime Minister was held by Tymoshenko, she served two terms for the total of 1,029 days (days of serving as acting Prime Minister are not included in these numbers). Since incumbent Azarov was re-appointed as Prime Minister on 13 December 2012 he since then broke Tymoshenko's record.
Parliament approving 
See also 
- Eugenia Tymoshenko: the fight to save my mother Yulia, The Guardian (23 September 2012)
- Update: Return to 1996 Constitution strengthens president, raises legal questions, Kyiv Post (October 1, 2010)
- Parliament adopts new law on cabinet complying with 1996 Constitution, Kyiv Post (October 7, 2010)
- Government approves draft law on cabinet according to which president appoints premier, Interfax-Ukraine (October 5, 2010)
- "The salary of Yushchenko rose 9 times – to $4.5 thousand". NTA-Privolzhye. 2005-07-14. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
- Azarov receives more than 30 thousands in a month (Азаров отримує більше 30 тисяч на місяць). Ukrayinska Pravda. 2013-1-24
- Azarov slams execution of government resolutions in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (May 13, 2010)
- Help Me, Father Czar!, Kyiv Post (5 April 2012)
- Laws of Ukraine. President of Ukraine decree No. 599/97: On the resignation of Prime Minister P.Lazarenko. Passed on 1997-07-02. (Ukrainian)
- Ukraine's First Woman Prime Minister
- Azarov is record-holder in holding PM post, ForUm (4 December 2012)
- Ukraine parliament approves Azarov as prime minister, Reuters (13 December 2012)
- Azarov urges Ukrainians to be worthy of liberators' feat, Ukrinform (9 May 2013)
- Yekhanurov initially collected 223 votes out of the necessary 226, but he was appointed after the second try.
- Tymoshenko initially collected 225 votes out of the necessary 226. Some deputies announced that their votes did not correspond to the results. The Tymoshenko candidacy was approved on the second try.
- "Government portal". Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-03-06.