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Ukraine's president rejects resignation of his prime minister

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Ukraine's Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk during the business forum in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukraine's Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk during the business forum in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)   -   Copyright  Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved   -   Efrem Lukatsky
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Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyi has rejected the resignation of his prime minister.

PM Oleksiy Honcharuk announced he was going to quit earlier on Friday after being caught on tape criticising Zelenskyi and saying he knew nothing about the economy.

"To clear all doubts regarding my respect and trust in the president, I have written my letter of resignation and have sent it to M. Zelenskyi", Honcharuk wrote on his Facebook page.

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

In his post, Honcharuk described Zelenskyi as "a man for whom Ukrainians have expressed unprecedented trust" and said he was proud of his government's record, writing: "In a few months, we have managed a lot."

Дорогі українці! Останні 4 місяці команда Президента багато працювала над тим, щоб країна змінилась. Вже за цей...

Publiée par Олексій Гончарук - Прем'єр-міністр України sur Jeudi 16 janvier 2020

AFP reported that his resignation had been confirmed by the Ukraine presidential office.

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 PM insisted.

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

Iryna Herashchenko, a lawmaker in the Rada, told the Associated Press that Honcharuk should have submitted his resignation to the parliament and not to the president. Otherwise, she said, it doesn't bear any legal consequences and is merely "private political correspondence.''