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You're reading: Ukraine’s new government sign of increasing Yanukovych weakness

This delay of
almost two months indicates his problem in appointing a new government.
Moreover, two of the 23 cabinet posts were left vacant. Yet, rather than
reaching out, Yanukovych has further narrowed his already so slim power base.

The
government formation can best be explained in terms of clan competition. The
Yanukovych family clan made a significant gain from five to nine cabinet
members out of a total of 21, but the big winner was Rinat Akhmetov, who jumped
from two to six ministers. Everyone else was marginalized.

Two loyalists
of gas trader Dmytro Firtash stayed in the government, but they were kicked
upstairs as deputy prime ministers (former Minister of Energy Yuri Boiko and
former Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko), while three relatively
independent loyalists of Yanukovych stayed on (Prime Minister Mykola Azarov,
Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych and Education Minister Dmytro
Tabachnyk).

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