Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko appointed Kyiv Governor Vera Ulyanchenko as the head of his secretariat, Itar-Tass reported.

Ulyanchenko, 51, is a graduate of the Philology Department of the Kyiv State University. She was an assistant to the then Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko in 2000-2001, a member of Our Ukraine parliament group and a freelance presidential adviser in 2005-2006. In July 2006 she was put in charge of the Kyiv regional administration.

Many say that Ulyanchenko is a unique politician. Being a member of Our Ukraine, she befriends representatives of many political forces. For long-lasting work with Yushchenko she was nicknamed “Mama Vera.”

Ulyanchenko ranked sevenths in last year’s rating of the top 100 influential women of Ukraine done by the Focus magazine. Her husband, Viktor Ivchenko, heads the State Agency for Investments and Innovations.

Earlier on Tuesday Yushchenko accepted the resignation of Presidential Secretariat chief Viktor Baloha.

Three persons have held the position since January 2005, the month of Yushchenko’s inauguration for president. The first chief of the Presidential Secretariat, Olexander Zinchenko, was in office until September 2005. He accused the president’s team of corruption and resigned. Oleh Rybachuk came next; he was in office for precisely one year. Viktor Baloha, who had been the Ukrainian emergency situations minister, succeeded to Rybachuk.

Analysts linked the confrontation between Ukrainian power branches with Baloha. “The resignation of Baloha was necessary, as he was the man orchestrating the confrontation between the president and the premier,” Ukrainian expert Kost Bondarenko said. “Relations between Yushchenko and [Prime Minister Yulia] Tymoshenko will improve with the resignation of Baloha. Their confrontation is harmful for both politicians in view of the presidential elections,” he said.