Ukraine elects technocrat

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The Independent Online
Kiev (Reuter) - Leonid Kuchma, head of one of the world's largest missile plants, was approved by parliament yesterday as Ukraine's new Prime Minister. Mr Kuchma, President Leonid Kravchuk's choice for the job, has pledged to come up with a blueprint to end months of indecision and introduce a gradual but steady drive towards a market-based system. He also promised a big shake-up in his government and said he would leave political issues for Mr Kravchuk to resolve.

Mr Kuchma, 54, who has been chairman of the Yuzhmash concern which manufactured Soviet nuclear missiles, secured parliament's approval by 316 votes to 23. He told reporters: 'A prime minister must be a politician and a technocrat at the same time . . . Shock therapy is unacceptable, we need gradual evolution.'

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