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Ukraine parliament accepts resignation of interior minister

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday voted to accept the resignation of the country’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

Avakov submitted his resignation on Tuesday, but didn’t disclose the reasons for his decision. The 57-year-old political heavyweight has been in office since 2014 and was the longest-serving interior minister in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.

Lawmakers have cast 291 votes out of 450 in support of Avakov’s resignation on Thursday.

Avakov has been widely viewed as one of the most influential Cabinet members in Ukraine. He has served as interior minister in four different governments and under two presidents, holding on to the post despite frequent government reshuffles and numerous corruption allegations.

On Tuesday night, Zelenskyy proposed naming Denys Monastyrskyy, a lawmaker from the ruling Servant of the People party, as a candidate to replace Avakov as interior minister. A vote on his appointment will take place Friday, lawmakers said after a meeting of the Servant of the People bloc in parliament.

Monastyrskyy, 41, is chair of parliament’s law enforcement committee and a member of the National Council on Anti-Corruption Policies. He said the decision to accept Zelenskyy’s offer was “the most difficult” of his life.

The Associated Press