Ukraine Parliament Fails To Pass Non-Confidence Bill Against Cabinet

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's parliament on Thursday failed to pass a non-confidence bill against the government led by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (Front) reacts after winning a no confidence vote in the parliament in Kiev Feb. 5, 2009. Ukraine's parliament Thursday failed to pass a no confidence bill against government led by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The bill, put forward by the opposition Regions Party of Viktor Yanukovich, gained only 203 supporting votes in the 450-seat assembly. Its passage needs at least 226 votes.

With less than a year to go before a presidential election, the outcome strengthened Tymoshenko's position ahead of what she said would be a cabinet reshuffle next week. Only one confidence vote can be submitted per session under the Constitution, and now she cannot be voted out of office until at least autumn.

Analysts said the vote will allow Tymoshenko to work quietly for a time and protect her against rearguard attacks from the parliament. She still faces some strategic risks, but these are linked not so much to politics as to the social and economic crisis.

Tymoshenko said before the Thursday vote that political will was needed to face down those predicting negative growth. The economy grew 2.1 percent last year.

"The government did not agree with such a forecast. It is simply too easy to become reconciled to a fall. I believe Ukraine is strong, with resources and reserves and if the proper actions are taken at this difficult time, we can achieve this indicator as planned." she added.

The global financial tsunami delivered a hard blow to Ukraine's economy. The inflation rate hit 22 percent in 2008. From a peak of4.50 to the U.S. dollar last spring, the country's currency hryvnia has lost more than 60 percent of value by now.

Falling prices of steel, Ukraine's top export item, have led to the shutdown of most iron and steel plants. Lack of liquidity has also troubled banks.

Tymoshenko, 47, took office on Dec. 18, 2007.

Source: Xinhua

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