December 21, 2017 / 9:50 AM / 6 months ago

REFILE-Ukraine MPs don't expect vote on central bank chief on Thursday

(Refiles to correct spelling of MP’s name to Boryslav Bereza)

KIEV, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A vote on the appointment of a new Ukrainian central bank governor is unlikely to take place on Thursday, lawmakers said, denting hopes that the long-delayed nomination will be decided before the end of 2017.

On Tuesday, the government’s representative to parliament, Vadym Denysenko, said the legislature could use its last session of the year to vote on whether to back acting central bank chief Yakiv Smoliy as governor on a permanent basis.

But he and other lawmakers on Thursday cast doubt on the vote taking place, saying President Petro Poroshenko, whose responsibility it is to put forward a candidate, had not yet done so.

“It won’t happen today. There has been no official submission. Everything depends on the president,” Pavlo Pynzenyk told Reuters. He is a lawmaker in the People’s Front party that is in a majority coalition with Poroshenko’s BPP faction in parliament.

Poroshenko’s delay in putting forward a candidate since the resignation of the former governor in May has concerned Ukraine’s foreign backers, including the International Monetary Fund.

A BPP lawmaker, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said it was a surprise setback.

“Everything looked like today we’d be voting for the head of the central bank. But about 10 minutes ago everything got rolled back,” the MP said.

The central bank governor role is a highly-politicised position and whoever is eventually nominated can expect to face push back from lawmakers who oppose Western-back austerity measures to shore up the economy.

Independent MP Boryslav Bereza said the nomination had been delayed because behind-the-scenes deal-making had yet to produce enough votes for Poroshenko’s candidate.

“Everyone has their own wishes and they receive something in exchange for their vote,” Bereza said on TV channel 112.

The nomination will need a simple majority of 226 votes to pass.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by John Stonestreet

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