Ukraine: Full Results In - But Still No Government

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's pro-Western "Orange Revolution" parties narrowly won last Sunday's legislative elections, confirmed a full tally of results finally published by the electoral commission Friday.

Graphic showing makeup of parliament after September 2007 legislative elections in Ukraine, if Lytvyn Bloc joins Pro-Russia coalition.

With all the results in President Viktor Yushchenko asked the pro-Western grouping, comprising his own party plus the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, to negotiate "an outline for a majority parliamentary coalition."

The Kiev negotiations, taking place behind close doors, began Friday and are expected to stretch into Saturday, according to a source in Yushchenko's party quoted by Interfax news agency.

Speaking in Paris, Yushchenko said it was "possible" Tymoshenko would become prime minister once those negotiations were complete. But he added that "no one force must dominate."

Interviewed on the France 24 TV channel, he said: "But I would add that this can only happen after an accord has been reached between the democratic majority and the opposition."

He warned: "This is a unique chance given to us by God to put to one side the political infighting and pull together around one table. This has not happened in the past 16 years."

Yushchenko said: "Are the negotiations going to bear fruit or not? It's difficult to say at the moment." He said he hoped that "no one force must dominate."

According to the final results released by the electoral commission Friday -- which are only legally confirmed in 15 days time - Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party won 14.15 percent of the vote and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc won 30.71 percent, giving them a combined 44.86 percent compared to 43.72 percent for their opponents.

The Regions party of pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich garnered 34.37 percent of the votes, while his communist allies took 5.39 percent.

The Litvin Bloc, with undefined loyalties, won 3.96 percent of the vote. They had been strongly courted by both parties, notably by the pro-westerners, who tried to keep their small lead against the pro-Russians.

The results from Sunday's legislative elections were based on a 100 percent return on all voting centres throughout the country.

According to Ukranian law, the total vote count, done electronically, must still be confirmed by each voting centre before being officially being recognised as the final result.

Yushchenko confounded pundits on Wednesday when he had called for talks on the formation of a new coalition, apparently involving his pro-Russian opponents, rather than forging ahead with plans to revive a pro-Western government.

Some analysts said that Yushchenko hoped to build a broad coalition to avoid having either current his current prime minister and arch-rival Viktor Yanukovych or Tymoshenko as prime minister.

Both are seen as potential rivals for presidential elections due by 2010.

One point of discussion at Friday's talks was likely to be Yushchenko's proposal to give the Regions party posts in parliament -- and possibly in the government.

Such an olive branch might help prevent the paralysis seen in parliament in recent months and prevent a possible walk-out of Regions party deputies, which could trigger new elections.

But the Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine have played down the prospect of cooperation with the Regions party. Yury Lutsenko, a leading member of Our Ukraine, said such cooperation would be "against the nature of democracy."

Source: AFP

Comments

Oleg said…
What are the chances that Litvin will join Party of regions?
Juri said…
I have doubts, if it would be a foavour to Ukraine to pull all the political forces around one table. I rather think, that this is a chance to establish western style democratic system in Ukraine without intransparent conctracts with forces, which still carry forward sowjet style politics.

What do you think about it?

dimitri.litvin@gmail.com