Earlier, in a Facebook post PM Oleksiy Honcharuk said that he had given his resignation to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “I took this post to implement the president's program. He is an example of transparency and decency to me," he said.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk during the business forum in Kyiv, Ukraine on October 10, 2019.
Ukraine's Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk during the business forum in Kyiv, Ukraine on October 10, 2019. (AP)

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday refused to accept the resignation of the country's prime minister, saying he wanted to give Oleksiy Goncharuk "a second chance". 

"I have decided to give you and your government a second chance," Zelensky said during a meeting with Goncharuk who had offered his resignation earlier on Friday.

In a Facebook post, Oleksiy Honcharuk said that he had given his resignation to President Zelenskiy.

"I took this post to implement the president's programme. He is an example of transparency and decency to me," he said.

"However, in order to dispel any doubts about our respect and trust for the president, I have written a resignation letter and submitted it to the president for introduction to parliament,” Honcharuk's statement read.

Earlier this week an audio recording surfaced in which Honcharuk appeared to make disparaging comments about Zelenskiy's understanding of economics.

Honcharuk said that the recording was a compilation of “fragments of recorded government meetings” and blamed unidentified “influential groups” for making it look like he doesn't respect the president. 

“It is not true,” the prime minister insisted.

On Thursday, lawmakers from the opposition party Opposition Platform-For Life demanded Honcharuk's resignation, saying he and his cabinet discredited Ukraine's president and exacerbated the economic crisis in the country. Members of the ruling Servant of the People party said there were no grounds for Honcharuk to resign.

Ukraine's parliament must vote on whether to accept the prime minister's resignation. Zelenskiy's office confirmed that it had received the resignation letter and said the president would take it under consideration.

The scandal involving Honcharuk shows that different political forces have started a fight for the position of the prime minister, Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Penta think tank, told The Associated Press.

However, he added that the resignation is unlikely to be accepted: “Zelenskiy doesn't want to dismiss Honcharuk.”

Source: TRTWorld and agencies