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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tymoshenko Expected to Be Easily Approved

ReutersYulia Tymoshenko in Kiev in December
KIEV -- Ukrainian lawmakers said Tuesday that they expect Yulia Tymoshenko will be quickly approved as prime minister, and her supporters voiced hopes that she will launch the economic reforms the country must make to join the European Union.

A day after being sworn in, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Monday nominated the fiery 44-year-old politician as acting prime minister and is expected to shortly ask Ukraine's parliament to formally approve her. Tymoshenko needs to win a simple majority of 226 votes in the 450-seat legislature, and she predicts she will easily garner more. Parliament is currently in recess, but resumes next Tuesday and could take up the issue then.

"Parliament will surely approve Tymoshenko as this appointment was logical and expected," said Borys Bespaliy, a lawmaker and Yushchenko ally.

Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn has said repeatedly that lawmakers would support any candidate proposed by Yushchenko, who took office Sunday.

"The country needs fast reforms as it's necessary to join the European Union," said lawmaker Yuriy Pavlenko, a Yushchenko ally.

As a driving force behind a wave of opposition protests dubbed the Orange Revolution that paved the way for Yushchenko's victory in the Dec. 26 court-ordered rerun vote, Tymoshenko earned the support of millions of Ukrainians -- and the distrust of millions who favored Yushchenko's rival, former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Yushchenko's supporters on Tuesday removed their last tents from Kiev's main avenue, where thousands camped in a push for the rerun of the vote.

"Lady Yu sits behind the steering wheel," the Ukrainian daily Segodnya wrote in a front-page headline, predicting that "the appearance of Yulia Tymoshenko as the head of Cabinet means big changes and stormy events in the political life of the country."

Nestor Shufrych, a lawmaker and Yanukovych ally, called Tymoshenko's appointment "most inconvenient for the opposition," predicting she would "strengthen Yushchenko's position."

Tymoshenko told the Unian news agency Tuesday that "I'm up to the task of the prime minister's job," and pledged that Ukraine would "become a more civilized country."