Ukraine's Orange Coalition Faces Hurdles

KIEV, Ukraine -- They traded insults and accusations of corruption for nine months. Now with the team that led Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution reunited and aiming to govern together again, maintaining the peace may turn out to be the easiest task on their agenda.

Bloc leader Yulia Tymoshenko is seen in the parliament, a yellow rose in her hand, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Friday, June 23, 2006.

The pro-Western reformers have little time for a honeymoon, as their list of promises includes ending Ukraine's energy dependence on Moscow and earning Kiev an invitation to join the European Union.

Good will has largely been depleted, and problems have been piling up over the 87 days it took them to set aside their mutual distrust and pool the 239 lawmakers needed for a majority in the 450-member parliament.

"Very little government work was done," said Tammy Lynch, a Ukrainian expert at Boston University's Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy. "Reforms stalled. The economy has slowed even further. Gas debt has risen, and now Russia is saying it wants to raise the price of gas again," she said.

"In addition to working on any personality issues that they all have, they will face some serious problems in just carrying out the work of the country."

But it is the personality conflicts that have captured the interest of this nation of 47 million. Yulia Tymoshenko, whose feisty manner and striking appearance made her one of the most high-profile figures of the Orange Revolution, is slated to return as prime minister next week.

President Viktor Yushchenko will forward her name to parliament on Monday, as part of the coalition deal. But in a bid to counterbalance the ambitious Tymoshenko, her archrival, former Security Council chief Petro Poroshenko, is also expected to make a comeback as parliamentary speaker.

It was their behind-the-scene battles that erupted into open conflict last September, leading to Poroshenko's resignation and Tymoshenko's dismissal. Tymoshenko famously went on live television to describe that afternoon, recalling "the crying, sniffling" Poroshenko. He fired back that she had a vivid imagination.

"This coalition is very good for Yushchenko," said Kiev-based political analyst Serhiy Taran. "What you'll have is a low-level, constant conflict between parliament and the prime minister. Tymoshenko and Poroshenko will be arguing all the time. Yushchenko will get to step in, giving him considerable influence."

But Tymoshenko will have a much stronger hand than she did when Yushchenko first tapped her to be prime minister. He reportedly gave her that job over strong misgivings, and then peopled the Cabinet with his appointees, leaving her largely isolated. Yushchenko also created a virtual shadow government under Poroshenko that worked to keep Tymoshenko in check.

This time, she names nine out of the 17 ministerial posts, including such heavyweights as the finance minister, economy minister and fuel and energy minister. She also gets to choose the head of the state property committee, responsible for privatizing state property, and reportedly also the next head of Naftogaz, the state gas company.

In essence, Yushchenko has handed her control over the economy.

Tymoshenko said her first priority would be to bring order to Ukraine's energy sector, paving the way for what could become another brutal tussle with Moscow over energy prices. During last winter's dispute, the Russian gas monopoly temporarily turned off the taps to Ukraine, also triggering disruptions to supplies to Western Europe.

Tymoshenko, who was not involved in the negotiations that ended that crisis, has called the deal a betrayal of national interests. It led to a nearly twofold price increase for Ukraine, and carved out a powerful role for a little-known middleman company.

This week, Tymoshenko repeated her criticism, saying the deal needed deep revision. Russia's gas monopoly, Gazprom, called her statement "alarming."

Moscow will be watching closely to see how much power _ and longevity _ this new coalition will have, analysts said.

There is not much room for failure. The opposition Party of Regions, which holds a massive 186 seats in parliament, is waiting in the wings.

Source: AP

Comments

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Nhưng như vậy, ngược lại càng khiến người ta không thể nghi ngờ.

Đang du lịch Cửu Trọng Thiên... Nhưng lời này khiến cho Mạc Tinh Thần mơ màng vô hạn. Chẳng lẽ là người của siêu cấp thế gia Thượng Tam Thiên? Đúng rồi, có thể khiến thiên tài bốn đại gia tộc tin phục như thế, cùng nhận làm lão đại, tiện tay tặng quà cũng là bảo đao có một không hai thiên hạ. Nhân vật như vậy, chỉ sợ chỉ Thượng Tam Thiên mới có.

Hơn nữa, còn là một siêu cấp đại thế gia!

"A a, thì ra là thế, Đổng thế chất, mời vào." Mạc Tinh Thần vội vàng đưa tay mời khách. Phát hiện đến bây giờ vẫn chặn khách nhân ngoài cửa, đây thật sự là thất lễ lớn rồi.

"Ờ, nhất định phải vào rồi. Bất quá, ta thăm Tiểu Vũ xong rồi đi luôn. Còn phải đi Thương Lan chiến khu chơi đùa một chút." Đổng Vô Thương híp mắt nói: "Mạc thế thúc, ngày phải chiếu cố thật tốt cho Tiểu Vũ đó. Lão đại ta đang phối dược cho Tiểu Vũ, nhất thời nửa khắc sợ không tới được, nhưng phỏng chừng cũng không mất bao nhiêu lâu thời gian, sẽ tới chữa bệnh cho Tiểu Vũ...."

Lại cười cười với vẻ đầy thâm ý, nói: "Lão đại ta có khả năng thông thiên triệt địa...."