Ukraine's Parliamentary Speaker Says Reversal Possible

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's parliamentary speaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn, says last week's vote to fire the Cabinet could be revoked. But only if President Viktor Yushchenko agrees to replace a number of loyalist ministers with members of other political parties.

Volodymyr Lytvyn

That, he says, to ensure broader representation of popular opinion.

The vote to dismiss the Cabinet came last Tuesday, following a fierce dispute over natural gas prices with Russia.

The vote left Yushchenko and his supporters appearing severely weakened ahead of legislative elections in March. Yushchenko's party will need a strong showing in the polls to be able to form the next government.

President Yushchenko insists the lawmakers' decision to sack his Cabinet was illegal. And that parliament rescind the vote, or the decision will be ignored. He also says his government will carry no prefixes, such as "acting".

Yushchenko won office in December, 2004. His popularity has suffered though, since he's been unable to root out long-entrenched corruption and bring economic improvements.

Ukraine speaker Lytvyn plans to field his own party in the March elections. Polls show he could play a key role in any talks to form a coalition government after the vote.

Initially, Lytvyn was seen as a likely ally of Yushchenko. But Lytvyn's party strongly supported last week's sacking of Yushchenko's cabinet.

Source: CCTV