Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov's government Monday, a surprise move following the country's controversial elections and ongoing economic woes.
However, the president has ordered ministers to remain in their posts until the new government forms.
The country's new parliament is preparing to meet for the first time after October's legislative elections, in which the president's Regions party and its allies won a majority.
Western observers slammed the vote as unfair because President Yanukovych's main rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, is imprisoned and unable to run. Also, observers criticized what they called a lack of transparency in the vote count.
It is unclear who will fill the powerful post of prime minister, but some analysts predict it could go to a member of Ukraine's elite close to the president, including Central bank chief Sergiy Arbuzov.
The prime minister will take the lead in negotiating with the International Monetary Fund as Ukraine seeks billions in disbursements to avoid a recession.