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Deputy head of presidential office may serve as Ukraine's next premier

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KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s political party is considering Oleksiy Honcharuk, a deputy head of the presidential office, as its nominee for prime minister, one of the party’s lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party won 254 of 450 seats in parliament in July. The ruling majority has the right to appoint the prime minister, ministers, prosecutor general, and some other top officials.

The new parliament is due to hold its first session on Thursday.

“We considered the only candidate – Mr. Honcharuk. We had the possibility to talk to him and ask any questions,” Servant of the People lawmaker Iryna Vereshchuk said on a TV talk show late on Tuesday.

She did not give any more details.

Honcharuk, a 35-year-old lawyer, was appointed a deputy head of Zelenskiy’s office in May. Earlier he led a non-government organisation focused on reforms and worked as an adviser for the Ministry of Ecology.

According to the Constitution, the ruling majority has to agree to the nominee with the president before the voting.

Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda said earlier on Tuesday, citing sources, that Zelenskiy supported Honcharuk.

The presidential office did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Zelenskiy, a television sitcom star who was elected in a landslide in May, called for the early parliamentary election last month to replace a parliament dominated by loyalists of his predecessor.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Tom Brown)

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