Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma has at last consented to the Crimean parliament’s sacking of Crimean prime minister Arkady Demydenko and its reappointment of former prime minister Anatoly Franchuk. The Crimean parliament dismissed Demydenko three times before Kuchma agreed to his replacement by Franchuk, whose son is married to Kuchma’s daughter and who has held the post once before. Observers predict a sharp struggle for key posts in the new government. Among the contenders for the post of deputy premier are two former deputy-speakers of parliament, Vladimir Klychnikov and Yury Podkopaev, and current deputy-speaker, Anushavan Danelyan. (Interfax-Ukraine, June 4)
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