Ukrainian President`s Party agrees to coalition

11:04, 06 April 2006
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Viktor Yushchenko`s Our Ukraine party will team up in parliament with an alliance led by former premier Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko`s Our Ukraine party will team up in parliament with an alliance led by former premier Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists, said Our Ukraine spokesman Valentyn Mondrievsky.

The Regions Party, led by Viktor Yanukovych, which won the most votes in March 26 elections, will remain in opposition, Mondrievsky said in a telephone interview today in Kiev, according to Bloomberg. Our Ukraine party was third in the elections, behind Tymoshenko’s bloc and the Regions Party.

``It is not the forming of a coalition itself,`` Mondrievsky said. ``But we have signed just a general document to show our intention to form a coalition. We reiterate that the elections were free and fair and our main intention is to sustain economic growth, build a civil society and defend human rights.``

Tymoshenko, who was fired by Yushchenko six months ago, may return to lead a coalition in which the president`s party will be a junior partner. She backs European Union membership and wants to investigate past state-asset sales under the former administration of Leonid Kuchma and boost living standards by regulating some consumer prices.

A press conference to explain the initial decision will be held after 12 p.m. today in Kiev, Mondrievsky said. Our Ukraine officials met last night and approved plans to negotiate with Tymoshenko and the Socialists, he said.

According to Bloomberg, Our Ukraine leader Yuriy Yekhanurov may meet with Tymoshenko and Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz, according to a statement on Our Ukraine`s Web site, without offering a specific time for the meeting.

``The talks were probably very tough as Yushchenko and Tymoshenko see some economic policies in different ways and they had a bad experience of working together in the first half of 2005,`` said Oleksandr Lytvynenko, an analyst at the Razumkov Center in Kiev, in a March 27 interview. ``Still, they did not want to let Yanukovych and his team rule the country.``

No one party won a majority in the 450-seat legislature, forcing Yushchenko back to a coalition with his former partner from the revolution after he finished a distant third in the first parliamentary elections since the Orange revolution swept Yushchenko to power in December 2004.

For the first time, the legislature will have the right to name its own prime minister and cabinet.

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