Yulia Tymoshenko`s eponymous bloc (BYT) and the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc in the Ukrainian parliament signed Saturday an opposition merger accord, according to RIA Novosti.

      The document is based on the June 2006 democratic coalition agreement between the BYT, Our Ukraine and the Socialist party factions in the Verkhovna Rada.

      The Ukrainian opposition regards the new accord as a fundamental strategic document that outlines the principles of work and an action program for the parties to the accord both as the opposition force within parliament and whenever a parliamentary majority or a coalition government is formed.

      "The signatories to the agreement have pledged to unite all democratic forces, both within and outside parliament, into the united All-Ukraine democratic movement," a spokesperson for Our Ukraine said.

      Under the new accord, the unified opposition will be governed by a coordinating council, which comprises six representatives from each member of the opposition.

      The united opposition will seek early parliamentary and local legislature elections, and will demand the imperative mandate for deputies of local legislative bodies, the abolishment of December 2004 amendments to the Ukrainian constitution and the adoption of a new draft of the country`s fundamental political document.

      Ukraine`s parliament found itself in the midst of a new crisis Thursday as the Communist faction accused the BYT opposition bloc of a state coup attempt.

      Fifteen members of the bloc, led by Ukraine`s outspoken opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, seized the power switchboard room and cut off power to the session hall Wednesday, forcing the Supreme Rada to end its session.

      The opposition bloc said they had cut off the power because the parliamentary majority refused to consider their proposals on draft laws on pension and salary increases, and on a controlled rise in tariffs for housing and communal services.

      Oleksandr Golub, a representative of the Communist faction, said: "This is a state coup attempt. Law enforcement agencies should draw the appropriate conclusions."

      Golub denied a crisis in the Supreme Rada, but the Tymoshenko bloc said the parliament faces an emergency situation.