Ukraine president, PM battle over early vote

11:39, 14 October 2008
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Allies of Ukraine`s prime minister vowed to block President Yushchenko`s efforts

Allies of Ukraine`s prime minister vowed Tuesday to block President Viktor Yushchenko`s efforts to push ahead with early parliamentary elections, according to AP.

The two leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution have turned into fierce rivals and their wrangle over whether elections will be held on Dec. 7 has now turned to the courts.

Yushchenko dissolved parliament and called early elections after his pro-Western coalition with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko collapsed. But Tymoshenko pledged there would be no election and appealed to a Kyiv court to block preparations.

Over the weekend, the court agreed with Tymoshenko and froze preparations. On Monday, Yushchenko responded by ordering the court abolished.

Tymoshenko ally Valery Pysarenko said Tuesday that the prime minister`s party will challenge that order.

Tymoshenko has also refused to fund the election, paving the way for a protracted standoff at a time when the economy is severely shaken by the global financial crisis.

The two leaders` alliance fell apart last month after Tymoshenko sided with the opposition in adopting a law trimming presidential powers. They two also disagreed in their reaction to Russia`s August war with Georgia.

Yushchenko accused Tymoshenko of betraying efforts to join NATO and selling out to the Kremlin by failing to condemn the war. Tymoshenko says she opposes the war, but calls for partnership with Russia.

The two are expected to face off in the 2010 presidential election.

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