The experts remind that Cabinet should not be dissolved, as well as the prime minister should not be out of office. The resignation of the prime minister would entail the automatic resignation of all ministers. They will have to be changed to others within 60 days. If the parliament does not manage or does not find votes, it might be dissolved as well.
President Zelensky does not need this domino effect. But he needs to strengthen the socio-economic block. And this strengthening will take place in two stages.
Divide and rule
The changes will primarily affect the number of ministries. After the August-September enlargement in the government, the status quo will be restored. David Arakhamia, the head of the Servant of the People faction, stated this in an interview with the Strana.ua publication. “The structure of ministries would be changed,” Arakhamia announced.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports would be restructured (culture and sports would be separated). The Ministry of Economic Development and Agriculture will fall into two components - economic and agricultural. Two departments will also be cut out from the Ministry of Veterans and Occupied Territories - in accordance with the names of the components.
According to political scientist Kyrylo Sazonov, the innovation will affect the Ministry of Energy and Ecology. It would also be divided into two. “New ministers will appear, and the old ones might leave. This is the light version that they are planning for now,” he says.
At the same time, he adds, “dismissing PM Honcharuk and the whole Cabinet, would mean for Zelensky to admit his mistake and start the government crisis, as well as worsen relations with Western partners, and they expect from Honcharuk and privatization, and the opening of the land market.”
“The biggest threat now exists for ministers that control social direction, healthcare, the economy, justice, and culture. Two deputy prime ministers might be fired,” Director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Policy Management Ruslan Bortnyk assumes.
“Only Markarova (the Minister of Finance) and Avakov (the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) would remain. The rest are under consideration,” Sazonov said.
“There are 5-6 ministers at risk. First of all, Borodyansky (Minister of Culture) and Sokolovska (Minister of Social Policy). Their fate will be decided by the new head of the presidential office,” Andriy Zolotariov, head of the Third Sector Center, recalls. The fan of shocking photos, the head of the Ministry of Justice, Denys Malyuska, is also under attack. Director of the Institute for Global Strategies Vadym Karasiov points to one more minister – agricultural one.
The surname of Serhiy Tigipko, deputy prime minister in the Azarov government during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, is periodically voiced by the experts. He is called both the potential head of the entire economic bloc and the possible successor to Honcharuk. In the same context, the names of Yulia Kovaliv, the current deputy head of the President’s Office, as well as Iryna Vereshchuk, people's MP from the Servant of the People and former representative government in the Verkhovna Rada. By the way, in November, Vereshchuk resigned from her office due to disagreement with the policy of PM Oleksiy Honcharuk.
Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs
Еhere are two more important government posts, except for the economy and the social sphere. These are the offices of the Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs. Bogdan Petrenko critically speaks about the first of them, Andriy Zahorodniuk.
“Zelensky has not formed any relation either to NATO or to anything else. He can be considered a pro-Russian or pro-European politician, but in reality, he has only one dependence - on his own rating,” the expert states.
Some experts believe that the current head of the defense department is such an inconspicuous figure that in this confusion among the more significant figures is his salvation from premature retirement.
As for Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko, who, as you know, is at outs with the new head of the Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak, a different story is connected with him.
“Issues with Prystayko had arisen even before Yermak became the head of the Presidential Office. Let’s remember how Prystayko became minister, it happened after Olena Zerkal’s refusal to head this department,” Bogdan Petrenko says.
Prystayko will not be fired while the security conference in Munich continues, Andriy Zolotariov is convinced. At the same time, Vadym Karasiov is counting down Prystayko’s tenure in office from the next Normandy Four meeting.
“There’s no point in changing Prystayko now because if the Normandy Four meeting is disrupted, it is better to blame the old minister than the new one,” Karasiov notes.
He also speaks of Prystayko’s possible successor. “This might be Markiyan Lubkivsky. He is young, qualified, and stubborn. Staff replacements in the government might come only “from the outside,” because there are very few people in Ze-Team itself. If the person is competent, he or she is most likely affiliated with either Kolomoisky or Pinchuk (Ukrainian oligarchs, - ed.). That's the problem that Zelensky needs to strengthen team spirit - hence the arrival of Yermak to the post of head of the Presidential Office,” our interlocutor says.
Who will succeed?
But Kolomoisky will not be able to lead his people to the Cabinet. Karasiov and Sazonov note this in their conversation with 112.ua. “Nobody will take Kolomoisky’s interests into account. It was possible before, but now, after Trump’s triumphant victory, this is not possible. Kolomoisky’s figure has become toxic,” Karasiov says.
Oleksiy Mushak, MP of the eights convocation, the current adviser to the Prime Minister, is discussed as a future minister of agriculture. The sports direction in the government might be headed by legendary goalkeeper of Dynamo Kyiv Oleksandr Shovkovsky.
One way or another, and the start of the rotation in the Cabinet of Honcharuk was given on February 4. The MPs approved the resignation of the Minister of Development of Communities and Territories, Olena Babak, at her own request.
A kaleidoscope of names and faces will rotate further. Bogdan Petrenko voiced a reasonable question in this context: “Why did the current ministers receive such enormous bonuses if some of them are fired soon”