Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk was given a second chance upon the leak of an embarrassing audio recording, in which he had criticised the President. As he was prompted to submit his resignation following this incident, Ukranian President Volodymr Zelensiky allowed PM Oleksiy Honcharuk to continue in his position stating that PM must reapy the public’s trust in him. This interview between the two men was released on Friday evening, in which PM remained silent for the most part. In addition, President initiated an agency search to find out who taped PM.
Another recording was circulated this week of a man discussing Zelenskiy’s purported lack of knowledge of economics. This was relating a meeting of Honcharuk, the finance minister and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in December. This might relate to Zelenskiy’s former occupation as a comic actor with no political experience. He reached power in an election last year on the back of public anger over high-level corruption.
“I decided to give you a chance … and a chance to your government,” Zelenskiy said, but added “the government had to fulfil certain tasks such as sacking ministers who do not perform.”
Zelenskiy and the public had loaned Honcharuk their trust, he said to Honcharuk, adding: “you have not yet repaid this loan to our society.”
Honcharuk stated earlier that the recording was said earlier the recording had been doctored and was made up of different fragments of what had been said at government meetings.
“Its contents artificially create the impression that my team and I do not respect the president, who is our political leader,” Honcharuk said on social media. He did not say whether it was his voice heard in the recording.
Central bank officials and the finance minister have declined to comment on the recording. While President Zelenskiy asked law enforcement agencies to determine who was involved in making the recording and how to prevent such incidents from occurring in future.
Honcharuk on the other hand, announced his resignation in a message on Facebook where he also praised Zelenskiy as “a model of openness and decency”. He appeared in parliament and reaffirmed his respect for the president, adding that Ukraine must remain united in the face of what he called information attacks and manipulations. His speech was met with ovation by a number of lawmakers, though some shouted “shame on you”.