Ukrainian ministers sacked as part of administrative reform
KIEV, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has sacked 15 ministers of the country's Cabinet as part of his administrative reform, according to decrees published on the president's official website on Friday.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and six ministers retained their posts, including Defense Minister Mykhaylo Yezhel, Finance Minister Fedir Yaroshenko, Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko and Interior Minister Anatoliy Mohylyov.
Six cabinet members - ministers of education, emergency situations, energy, culture, food and agriculture as well as energy and coal industry - were re-appointed to their posts shortly after being dismissed.
Four deputy prime ministers were also re-appointed to their posts, but will also head certain ministries in an effort to improve the government's work.
First Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev will from now on also head the ministry of economic development and trade, vice premier Borys Kolesnikov will be in charge of the ministry of infrastructure.
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tigipko will also work as the minister of social policies, while deputy premier Viktor Tikhonov will head the ministry of social development, construction and communal services.
Yanukovych has earlier voiced plans to cut the number of ministries from 20 to 12, according to Ukrainian media reports. He also plans to slash the total number of central executive bodies from 112 to 64.
The Ukrainian leader also instructed the government to lay off at least 30% of officials, employed in the country's central executive bodies.
Ukraine's Constitutional Court ruled on September 30 that changes to the constitution in 2004 were unconstitutional. The ruling returned a raft of powers to the presidency that had been transferred to parliament, including the right to appoint and dismiss ministers.