Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Orange Coalition Together Again

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's party on Tuesday reformed a coalition with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc and a smaller group, resolving a damaging stand-off, the parliament speaker said.

"The formation of a coalition" comprising the three groups was announced by the head of the small Litvin party, Volodymyr Litvin, immediately after he was elected parliament's new speaker.

The announcement came after Yushchenko's bloc abandoned the coalition in September citing attempts by ambitious coalition partner Tymoshenko to water down the president's powers. As negotiations faltered, the president ordered fresh parliamentary elections.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have had tortuous relations ever since they led a popular uprising known as the Orange Revolution in late 2004 that set the country on a firmly pro-Western path, including towards NATO membership.

Yushchenko's plans for fresh elections hit a series of administrative hurdles and were first postponed and then cancelled in the face of severe damage to Ukraine's economy from the global economic crisis.

On Tuesday morning, his bloc said it was ready to end the stand-off and get back together with Tymoshenko's deputies to avoid the prime minister's party going into coalition with pro-Moscow deputies.

Sounds like Tymoshenko got on top because of all of this.

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